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$800,000 Settlement for Factory Worker in Paint Applicator Machine Accident

Lopez v. FATA Hunter

Case Synopsis:

Our client was a 43-year old factory worker who was employed by an aluminum production company.  On the date of the accident, our client was working as a paint line prep coater operator on a prime coater machine.  The machine had a nip point that was composed of two parallel rollers rotating inward.  At the time the accident occurred, our client was using a rag to clean paint from an applicator and pick up rolls.  His hand was dragged into the machine’s in-running nip point.

The prime coater, manufactured by defendant FATA, was defective as designed because it did not contain proper safe guards.

The machine would need to be cleaned and, when being cleaned, the machine would be opened in a way that the rollers would create an in-running nip point.  A guard at the rollers could have prevented an operator’s hand from being dragged into the nip point.  Indeed, the technology necessary to create such a guard had been in place for 5 to 10 years prior to when the machine in question was built.  Yet, defendant FATA did not use such technology on the machine.  The machine was also improperly installed by defendant L. K. Comstock, in such a way that it contributed to the dangerous condition.

Our client suffered severe hand injuries including a degloving and avulsion injury to his dominant right hand.  Additionally he suffered tears of the right labrum and bicep tendons,  lacerations and tears of the flexor tendon and radial carpal ligament, a herniated disc, nerve damage, scarring and emotional distress.   He underwent treatment, including leech therapy, to attempt to restore blood flow and preserve three fingers; however, the treatment was unsuccessful and his right index, long and small fingers were amputated down to the hand.  Our client was unable to return to work following the accident.

Outcome:

The products liability case settled before trial for $800,000.  The case was handled by Philadelphia personal injury lawyer Richard M. Jurewicz, of Galfand Berger. For more information on this case, call our law offices at 1-800-222-USWA (8792) or contact Mr. Jurewicz directly at rjurewicz@galfandberger.com.