Man Loses Appeal In Amputation Lawsuit
A Dodge City man who lost his legs in a catastrophic industrial accident recently lost an appeal in front of the Minnesota Court of Appeals seeking justice for his life-changing injury. The plaintiff previously lost his claim in a lower court and appealed his case in the hopes the higher court would remedy his situation.
The case began in September 2011 when the now 55-year-old plaintiff was working with an extruder, a piece of industrial equipment used to create hog feed out of food waste. Over the course of several days, the machine malfunctioned multiple times after becoming clogged during operation.
The plaintiff claims that neither he nor any other employee working on the job site was trained on how to use the extruder. To clear the heavy equipment of its obstruction, the workers would climb into the machine to manually extract the blockage.
As the complications with the machine continued, the supervisor on site called a maintenance worker to fix the problem. Unfortunately for the plaintiff, the maintenance worker turned on the machine while he was inside. The plaintiff’s legs were crushed so badly that they had to be amputated above the knee.
Workers’ compensation lawsuits
While the plaintiff’s employer incurred a fine from OSHA over the incident, he was barred from suing the company because the injury occurred during the course of his employment. Under Minnesota law, workers’ compensation is an exclusive remedy for workplace injury claims and victims are barred from suing their employers even in cases of negligence.
However, Minnesota law allows injured workers to sue third parties who may have contributed to an industrial accident. The plaintiff, in this case, sued the manufacturer of the extruder, alleging the defendant created a defectively designed product. Unfortunately for the plaintiff, the courts deemed the plaintiff responsible for his own injury after he disregarded safety warnings and crawled inside the machine.
We are here to help
If you were hurt on the job, you may be entitled to more than workers’ compensation. Although the program covers part of an injured worker’s lost income, it cannot fully compensate them for lost wages and pain and suffering. If the accident was caused by a third party, you may be able to hold this entity responsible and recover all of your lost wages and be awarded damages for other losses.
If you were injured on the job, contact our office, by calling 888-596-6049, to speak to one of our Minnesota work injury lawyers about your case. We can help you prepare a workers’ compensation claim or even file a personal injury lawsuit if the circumstances of the case allow it.