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NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, England-Eagle Star Insurance Co. may appeal a U.K. court's record-setting repetitive strain injury award to a machinist.

After a three-day hearing, Judge Moreland in the Newcastle upon Tyne High Court awarded Muriel Simpson (British pounds) 186,281 ($304,000) in damages for pain and suffering, loss of future earnings and interest on the award. Ms. Simpson cannot perform another manual job as a result of her condition, an inflammation of the vascular supply to the elbow.

Ms. Simpson operated a toilet paper-making machine-which involved a repetitive twisting motion-at the former Scott Paper plant in Northeast England for three years before retiring in poor health in 1990. Eagle Star was the insurer for Scott Paper, which has since been purchased by Kimberly-Clark Ltd.

Owen Tudor, legal services officer for the Trades Union Congress, a labor organization in London, estimated there are 2,000 cases of RSI settled out-of-court in the United Kingdom every year.