Josaia Cama was 20 years old when he found employment on a fishing vessel belonging to Kim Sung Soo and went on a year-long fishing trip to Japan in 1998.
His wife Virisila Wati said Mr Cama was working throughout the night in the freezer in the ship's hold in 1998 when his fingers went numb from the cold.
She said her husband's supervisors soaked his fingers in warm water and wrapped them in woolen gloves to keep them warm.
When the ship returned to Fiji, Mr Cama was admitted at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital. The hospital amputated his eight fingers in December that year.
Ms Wati said after that, he would collect $55 as wages from the ship's office every fortnight but it stopped after the 2000 coup.
She said he then started court proceedings against the shipping company after they refused to compensate him.
Ms Wati said last year, Mr Cama was awarded $24,000 in compensation but has not received anything so far.
She said he had gone to the Ministry of Labour and other places without success.
Attempts to get comments from Mr Soo, the Labour Ministry's director for Occupational Health and Safety Standards, Osea Cawaru and Mr Cama's lawyer Suresh Chandra, were all unsuccessful.
Adapted from Fijitimes Online