This case involved a newly installed machine that did not have a safety guard or any warnings regarding what is known as a pinch point. Our client attempted to clear a jam in the machine and, because the pinch point was readily visible, was unaware of the hazard that existed. His right hand became caught in the pinch point, and the tips of two of his fingers were severed.
We brought suit against the manufacturer, asserting that it had failed to design an appropriate safety guard. The manufacturer claimed it was not responsible because our client’s employer had designed and then removed a safety guard. We contended that the manufacturer knew of the risk that existed and failed to either place an adequate warning on the machine or install a suitable safety guard. The manufacturer offered only $5000 to settle the matter. The jury saw things our way and awarded $180,000.
[Roush v. International Material Control (Fayette County Court of Common Pleas, case no. CVC 950301)]