Worker Suffers Amputation in Workplace Accident
Our client was an employee of the defendant at the time of the accident. On the premises of the defendant’s business there was a top-loading washing machine that was used by the employees to wash and dry rags and towels as part of their duties. This washing machine, however, was not safe for operation, as the plastic cover was broken, but the machine would still function when the door was open. Also, the drum inside of the washing machine was damaged in such a way that a sharp piece of sheet metal had pulled away from the body of the drum.
Our client was drying rags when his hand slipped inside of the machine while it was running. As a result, our client suffered a traumatic amputation of the left hand, lost the left index finger, and suffered a severe crush injury to the hand in question. Surgeons were unable to save the limb and had to amputate the entire left hand above the wrist.
The employer had opted not to carry workers compensation insurance, leaving our client the option to pursue comprehensive compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Not only was the defendant guilty of gross negligence in this case by directing employees to use a dangerous piece of equipment, but the defendant also destroyed evidence after the accident by failing to preserve the broken lid and altering the drum so that it could not be inspected after the accident.
With the loss of the left hand, our client was left permanently disfigured and disabled. Our client also suffered immense physical pain and mental anguish due to losing the limb and is likely to suffer similarly in the future. The plaintiff deserved to have the resulting current and future medical bills compensated, as well as the lost earning potential that resulted from the lost limb. We also requested punitive damages on behalf of our client, as the employer displayed substantial disregard for the safety of the employees.
Because the defendant did not carry workers compensation insurance, we filed a personal injury claim seeking damages on behalf of our client. In the end, our client was awarded a settlement of $1,000,000 with the following breakdown:
- Settlement Awarded: $1,000,000
- Less Defense Attorney Fees: $31,129.60
- Less Plaintiff Attorney Fees: $387,148.20
- Reimbursed Case Expenses: $18,045.20
- Paid to Medical Providers: $61,572.30
- Net to Client: $501,104.79