$400,000 to a Charleston Worker Whose Arm was Crushed by Heavy Machinery.
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Antwan Gordan nearly lost his arm in a work place accident caused by faulty equipment. He knew getting the workers’ compensation benefits and medical treatment he needed was going to be an uphill battle. So, he called the Joye Law Firm. Our workers’ compensation lawyers went to work for Antwan and his family and got them the help they needed.
Antwan Gordon was working at a textile plant in North Charleston. His job involved feeding multiple lines of thread through a “warper” machine, so that the thread could be made into canvas.
The thread ran through several spools that operated at a high rate of speed, and there were several pinch points between the rollers.
Originally, the warper machine had been located in Charlotte, but the machine was moved to Charleston due to a corporate buyout. In Charlotte, the warper machine had been equipped with a safety bar that prevented people’s arms from being pulled into the machine. Unfortunately, the safety bar was never given to Antwan to use when the machine arrived in Charleston.
One summer, Antwan was working with the warper machine when his arm was suddenly pulled into the machine due to the missing safety bar.
Several workers came over to assist, and it took them several minutes to remove Antwan’s arm from the machine.
Antwan suffered severe crushing injuries in the accident, and he had to undergo several surgeries to try and repair the damage. He received outstanding medical care, which saved the arm from what seemed to be certain amputation.
Due to his concerns about his injuries, his livelihood, and his family, he hired the Joye Law Firm to help.
“I really prayed about what I should do. I came out of church one day and saw the Joye Law Firm’s sign – it just seemed like God was directing me there,” said Antwan.
Joye Law Firm attorney Ken Harrell represented Antwan in his workers’ compensation claim, eventually resolving the claim for the maximum amount recoverable under the Workers’ Compensation Act. He then asked another Joye Law Firm attorney to investigate a possible third party case against either the manufacturer of the machine or the companies that had moved the warper to Charleston.
“This case shows the benefit of having a full-service law firm represent you if you have a serious injury,” said Mr. Harrell. “The workers’ compensation system is a good safety net for injured workers but you often can recover a second recovery for the client if you can show that someone other than the employer negligently caused the accident.”
During the investigation, the Joye Law Firm discovered that there had been several complaints against the moving company. They also found that the safety bar for the machine had been misplaced during the move.
Accordingly, a suit was filed against the company that moved the equipment and the company that supervised the move.
During the course of discovery, it was learned that several other machines had experienced problems after the move, and that several other safety bars had been misplaced. This information, coupled with the act that there had been several complaints against the moving company, led to a favorable settlement of the third party case.
This accident could have been prevented if the moving companies had not misplaced the safety bar or if Antwan’s employer had given him a replacement safety device. For his part, Antwan is appreciative of the firm’s hard work on his behalf. “From the first day I walked in there, I felt like I was in the right place,” he said. “… they really cared about me, and I won’t forget that.”