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  • $4 Million Settlement for Drill Press Injury


    Cases Summary:

    A 47-year-old factory worker was severely injured by a drill press when her hair became wrapped around the drill press’s rapidly rotating spindle after she adjusted the controls, dangerously located above the spindle. In the blink of an eye, the worker’s scalp was ripped from her head, instantly causing her lifelong injuries that could never fully heal.

    Galfand Berger attorneys Debra Jensen and Brad Smith alleged the drill press was defectively designed. Drill presses, while posing serious dangers to workers, are notoriously difficult machines to adequately guard without interfering with the machine’s usefulness. With the assistance of engineering and human factors experts, Galfand Berger argued that the drill press was defective because its controls were placed over 7.5 feet off the ground and required a stepladder to reach. Making the design worse, per the manufacturer’s own requirements, the drill press’s spindle needed to be on and rotating when workers adjusted these controls from a stepladder. Further, while part of the spindle had been guarded with a telescoping guard, the lower portion of the spindle did not have such a guard. These two defects created an unreasonably dangerous machine and were the reason Galfand Berger’s client suffered her devastating injuries.

    At the time this worker suffered her injury, the original manufacturer of the drill press was no longer in business, which often unfortunately means that an injured person cannot recover any compensation for their injuries. However, Galfand Berger attorneys pursued the case and discovered that the original manufacturer’s assets had been purchased by another company that continued the business. Through their familiarity with Pennsylvania law that holds successor companies responsible for the injuries caused by now-defunct businesses, Galfand Berger attorneys fought their case against the new company.


    No amount of money can ever fully compensate someone who has had life-altering injuries. As a result of having her scalp torn off, Galfand Berger’s client is no longer able to grow hair and suffers from post-traumatic headaches that make her unable to ever work again.

    The parties eventually reached a settlement of $4,000,000. This money will provide Galfand Berger’s client with financial security and future medical treatment while she can no longer work herself.