Employee Plugged Between Eyes
John Doe was a mechanic employed by a manufacturer of baling machines. As he was removing a plug from a hydraulic cylinder for one of the machines, the plug exploded out of the cylinder and stuck Mr. Doe right between the eyes. Mr. Doe suffered facial fractures and brain injuries.
Experts employed by Pajcic & Pajcic could find no fault in the design or manufacture of the cylinder. Instead, investigation and testing proved that is was a customer of Mr. Doe’s employer who created the hazard. The experts were able to recreate the accident showing exactly how it happened. The customer had returned the cylinder because it was the wrong one for his machine, but the customer had not told anyone that he had filled the cylinder with hydraulic fluid and sealed the plug with pipe dope. The sealing was unnecessary and prevented the gradual release of pressure as the plug was unscrewed.
At mediation in July 1997, the customer’s insurance company agreed to a structured settlement with a present value of $475,000. Mr. Doe has a good employer who has rehired him in a part-time, light-duty position.