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Shelly Leeke Law Firm, LLC

Machine Operator Has Fingers Amputated After Work Injury

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A California Machine Operator had his fingers crushed while using an unguarded press. The 56-year old, California man was using an unguarded press, when he needed to clean some material that was lodged in it. While the press was stopped, the man stuck his dominant, right hand into the press's point-of-operation to remove material that was inside. All of a sudden the press engaged and crushed several of his fingers.

The man underwent six surgeries, which resulted in the amputation of three of his fingers. Afterwards he suffered from depression as a result of his injuries. His losses included, past medical expenses totaling approximately $92,000, future medical expenses estimated to be about $50,000, past loss of income of approximately $72,000, and future loss of income of about $132,000.

The man and his wife filed a lawsuit against his employer, alleging that his employer violated California Labor Code by removing the guard at the point-of-operation, bypassing the press's dual palm button control, and exposing him to unnecessary danger by allowing him to work on the unguarded side of the press.

The couple also sued a second defendant for not providing a guard system to protect the side of the press where the man was working.

The parties settled during mediation. The employer settled for $250,000 and the other defendant settled for $137,500, for a total reward of $387,500.

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