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$625,000 Recovery For Hand Injured In Inadequately Guarded Machinery

Case Synopsis:

The plaintiff was a factor worker who sustained a right hand injury while working on an industrial machine manufactured by the defendant manufacturer and sold by the defendant seller. The plaintiff alleged that the machine was dangerous and defective in that it lacked an appropriate safety guard which would have prevented the injury. The defendant argued that the machine had multiple safety devices, the guard suggested by the plaintiff was not feasible and that the plaintiff’s injury was caused by his own reckless actions.

The plaintiff worked at an industrial manufacturing facility in Pennsylvania as an assistant machine operator. In 2010, he was using the manufacturing equipment at issue, when his right hand was caught between a rotating part and a fixed metal beam.

The plaintiff alleged that the defendant manufacturer failed to properly guard the rotating part. The plaintiff also contended that the frame of the machine could have been guarded using either a switch mat or interlock guard and would have prevented the plaintiff’s injury. The plaintiff’s expert engineer stated that both safety devices had been available on the market well before the sale of the subject machine

The plaintiff sustained degloving injury to wrist requiring debridement and skin graft and incurred past medical expenses of $59,310, past loss of wages of $8,650 and loss of future wages in the amount of $1,152,000.

The defendant manufacturer was prepared to argue that the plaintiff violated a plant rule against touching moving parts of machinery. The defendant’s expert opined that the machine at issue was safe and employed multiple safety devices which the plaintiff failed to use; although he had been trained on each of them.

On damages, the defendant contended that the plaintiff had been released to full duty and had only missed a few months from work. The defendant argued that the plaintiff had stopped treating for his injury in early 2013.

Outcome:

Products liability lawyer Peter M. Patton of Galfand Berger in Philadelphia settled the hand injury case at mediation for a total of $625,000.  For more information, call Galfand Berger at 1-800-222-8792 or contact Mr. Patton directly at PPatton@galfandberger.com.