Product Liability - Severe Hand Injury Caused by Missing Guard

Injuries
Degloving injury of the right  palm with multiple open bone fractures, permanent partial disability, scarring, deformity of hand
Amount of Settlement
$180,000.00
Special Damages
Medical expenses: approximately $22,378.03; lost earning capacity: approximately $7,500.00. 
Plaintiff's Attorney
Attorney Marc L. Breakstone
Boston, Massachusetts
Court
Norfolk Superior Court
Other Useful 
Information

Plaintiff was a 20 year-old male employed by a temporary employment agency, which was the third party defendant, and working at a factory owned by the defendant. Plaintiff suffered a severe personal injury when his hand was pulled into a labeling machine causing a severe degloving injury to his right palm, as a result of which he had a large open wound causing severe injury to the hand.  At the time of the incident, a metal guard had been removed by defendant’s employees from the nip point that grabbed plaintiff’s hand.

The liability of the defendant was based upon its negligence in permitting the  machine to be operated without the guard protecting the nip point in question.  The witness who testified on behalf of the defendant admitted that the machine should not have been operated without the guard in place.  He also testified that the bent guard was straightened and put back on the machine within two hours of plaintiff’s accident.  Defendant’s liability was also based upon the negligence of plaintiff’s supervisor who trained plaintiff to lightly tap the rotating drum of the machine to determine whether it was dry or tacky.  Plaintiff’s supervisor denied training plaintiff to lightly tap the rotating drum of the machine.  However, the supervisor, in a recorded interview with an insurance investigator days after the incident  stated that “you can lean over and put your hand on the mat.” 

The defendant's negligence caused the plaintiff to suffer a severe complex degloving injury of the right  palm with multiple open fractures for which he underwent open reduction and internal fixation.  He was left with a significant deformity and severe scarring. He had partial impairment of the right arm, a 16.5 cm. scar, reduced grip strength and a significant cosmetic deformity of the right hand.  His orthopedic surgeon gave him a permanent partial impairment of 13% of the right upper extremity.  Medical bills totaled $22,378.03.  Lost wages totaled approximately $7,500.00. 

The case settled at mediation with Attorney Cynthia Cohen (who is now an Associate Justice on the Massachusetts Appeals Court).

Client Reviews
David really cared about me as an individual…and he really cared about seeking the justice that needed to be sought in the case.
★★★★★
Ron got the insurance company to settle for the maximum on the policy. And so as a result of that, my son went back to school.
★★★★★
Marc just guided us through the whole process. He told us exactly what would happen and how we needed to go about doing everything.
★★★★★
I would recommend David…The outcome of my case, I was very pleased with it. I hope I don't have another accident, but if I do we'll be back to see David.
★★★★★
Ron was excellent. He was on top of everything. He answered every question.
★★★★★
Marc was extremely professional. I felt very confident that he knew exactly what he was doing. This is his area of practice and I had total confidence in him and I actually have recommended him to other people who have been in accidents.
★★★★★