$5M Workplace Dismemberment Recovery from a Lathe Accident - Adamson Ahdoot LLP

$5M Workplace Dismemberment Recovery from a Lathe Accident

Our client was employed as a Lathe Operator. They were operating a lathe processing a flange on a vehicle’s crankshaft when they became entangled with the rotating crankshaft, resulting in severe injuries from the lathe accident, including the amputation of their left arm. Our client was wearing the proper personal protective attire which comprised steel-toed boots, long socks, pants, a T-shirt, and a heavy-duty Carhartt jacket. Their first memory of the accident was their co-worker attempting to pull them out of the machine.

Our client sued the plaintiffs for strict products liability, negligent products liability, and negligence. They contended that design and/or manufacturing defects of the lathe they were operating caused their injuries. Our client believed that a metal shaving attached itself to the left inside of their jacket and pulled them onto the rotating crankshaft, amputating their left arm.

In their deposition, they discussed a phenomenon that involved a string of metal shavings that could reach a length of 7 feet or more and could be flung on the floor and cause injuries to the operator. Our client’s expert claimed there were major safety issues with the lathe that ultimately caused our client to be pulled into the crankshaft. The first was that a metal shaving came off the machine to an unguarded location and, two, the chuck of the lathe was unguarded, which the expert claimed caused the ultimate amputation of our client’s arm. The expert contended that there were safety components that could have been used on the machine to prevent our client’s injuries.

The defense argued that our client could not establish that the lathe was a substantial factor in their accident because there were no witnesses and because they themselves did not remember what occurred. They claimed that there was zero evidence other than that our client’s injuries occurred while operating the lathe. They stated that our client had no evidence to establish a triable issue of fact as to the essential element of causation and that our client’s claims that they were liable were speculative.

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