Wednesday, Dec 07, 2016
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Toledo man sues former employer over injury

He says Perrysburg firm knew machine unsafe

A Toledo man who suffered an on-the-job injury in April is suing his former employer, alleging that the company knew there were significant safety deficiencies with its equipment but neglected to fix the machines.

In a suit filed Monday in Wood County Common Pleas Court, Brendon Ingram, 23, said his hand became trapped in the rollers of a lamination machine while working at Cool Seal USA LLC in Perrysburg, causing serious injuries to his hand and arm.

Another 10 “John Does” who were involved in the designing, selling, manufacture, and maintenance of the machine are also named as defendants

The suit alleges that Cool Seal USA had been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration less than six months prior to Mr. Ingram’s injury after another worker was injured in similar fashion.

According to OSHA documents filed with the suit, an employee who was instructed to unwrinkle fabric from a machine got his hand caught in the rollers and was pulled into the machine up to his shoulder. The severity of his injuries wasn’t clear, but Cool Seal USA was cited for two “serious” safety violations after the incident in December, 2012.

The OSHA Web site shows that case to be closed.

It wasn’t clear if Cool Seal USA received any citations from OSHA after the injury to Mr. Ingram. An agency spokesman said they were looking into it but couldn’t immediately provide an answer.

In the suit, Mr. Ingram and his attorney argue that Cool Seal USA knew the lamination machine with which Mr. Ingram was working was unsafe but still asked employees to put their hands into the machine, making injury a “near certainty.”

Mr. Ingram said he was told to use his hand to remove a buildup of adhesive from the machine’s rollers. He said his hand became caught because a safety guard either had not been installed or was removed.

The suit seeks compensatory damages in excess of $25,000 and other punitive damages.

Contact Tyrel Linkhorn at tlinkhorn@theblade.com or 419-724-6134.

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