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$325,000 Settlement for Machine Operator in Automated Cell Line Accident

Arentz v. Defendants

Case Synopsis:

The plaintiff, a 44 year old machine operator, suffered a fracture of his non-dominant ring finger that eventually required amputation after the finger was crushed by the hold down clamp on an automated cell line.

Two years prior to the accident, plaintiff’s employer requested that defendants design an automated cell line machine that integrated the employer’s four manual operating systems.  On the day of the accident, the plaintiff inserted a long piece of bar stock into the machine for processing.  After the machine made a series of cuts, plaintiff noticed that piece of metal was stuck under the shear hold down clamp.  When plaintiff reached into the machine to remove the piece of scrap metal the machine actuated, crushing plaintiff’s finger.

The automated cell line was designed and manufactured by defendants to the specifications provided to them by plaintiff’s employer.  The machine included a parameter guard around the entire system and interlock guard that should have prevented the shear from actuating when open; however, it was defective as designed because the design of the interlock allowed the automated system to initiate an unintended and unexpected cycle when the guard was in the open position.

Outcome:

The case settled before trial for $325,000.  The hand injury case was handled by Philadelphia products liability attorney, Richard M. Jurewicz of Galfand Berger. For more information on this case, please call 1-800-222-USWA (8792) or contact the Rick at rjurewicz@galfandberger.com.