Saltz Mongeluzzi & Bendesky attorneys Larry Bendesky, Robert Zimmerman, and Scott Fellmeth have secured a $4.6 million settlement for their 24-year old client who suffered permanent injuries to his right dominant hand when it was crushed by a bread-making machine, resulting in the amputation of four fingers and part of his thumb.
The accident occurred in 2015. The injured worker, Frank Carpinelli, was employed by Baker Boys, a baking and packaging facility in Pleasantville, New Jersey. The injury occurred when Mr. Carpinelli was attempting to clean the subject machine’s “hopper,” where the dough is entered into the machine. Mr. Carpinelli placed his hand into the hopper to remove a piece of excess dough and received crush injuries when his hand made contact with the inside cutting apparatus of the machine.
A product liability and negligence lawsuit was filed in Atlantic County, New Jersey, against the German manufacturer of the bread-making product, the American-based seller of the product, and three baking companies that the plaintiff alleged had safety responsibilities at the facility where the injury occurred.
The subject machine was manufactured in 1989. Plaintiff alleged the product had a defective design and that the hopper should have been manufactured with a safety interlock guarding system. The attorneys also argued that the product’s instructions and warnings were deficient.
SM&B also claimed that the plaintiff was not properly trained to use the machine and that the facility lacked appropriate safety oversight.
This settlement allowed us to secure a life-changing financial settlement for our client, an incredible young man who has suffered tremendously. This settlement will provide Frank with the care he needs for the rest of his life.
Larry Bendesky, Firm’s Managing Partner
“This case should serve as a reminder that, even with older equipment, a manufacturer and seller must ensure the product is equipped with the safety components necessary to prevent injuries to operators,” added Robert Zimmerman. “We proved Defendants could have—and should have—implemented alternative designs at the time the machine was manufactured and sold.”
“The evidence also proved that companies that were related to Plaintiff’s employer, Baker Boys, had safety responsibilities at the plant. These companies could not escape the reality that safety is a shared responsibility that must be taken seriously to avoid serious injuries,” commented Scott Fellmeth.
The settlement is believed to be one of the largest hand amputation resolutions in New Jersey history.