While Thoman, 28, a dairy farmer, was unloading a forage wagon and the 195-pound discharge chute fell accidentally. It struck Thoman in the chest and pushed him onto an unguarded auger on a forage blower, a machine used to blow livestock feed into a silo. Thoman’s dominant left arm was mangled severely. He required eight operations and had medical expenses of $83,000. He now has only limited use of his left hand and forearm. An expert predicted that Thoman would be unable to manage his farm without hiring a farmhand at an estimated present cost of $22,000 a year.
Thoman sued Papec Machine Co., the manufacturer of the forage blower, and Avco New Idea Farm Equipment, which had provided the design specifications to Papec and had distributed the forage blowers. He claimed that the machine was designed defectively because the auger was guarded inadequately. He also claimed that the emergency stop bar should have been located on the same side of the machine as the auger. Evidence showed that many other manufacturers equipped their forage blowers with emergency shut-off bar on the auger side.
The case was settled on the first day of trial for $662,000. Philadelphia products liability lawyers, Richard M. Jurewicz, Esquire, and Joseph Lurie, Esquire of Galfand Berger handled this matter. For more information on this case, please contact Rick at [email protected].