Amputee is suing auger blade manufacturer

Steve Gonzalez Nov. 22, 2004, 3:50pm

A Missouri man whose leg had to be amputated after it was crushed by an auger blade is suing the equipment manufacturer for more than $100,000.

Terry Joe Walker filed suit Nov. 22 in the Third Judicial Circuit of Madison County against Alamo Group and its subsidiary, M&W Gear Co.

According to the suit, Walker's left leg became "severely entrapped, mutilated, crushed, and entangled in the auger blade" while he was working with a product known as a “little red wagon,” or a 4800 grain cart, on Sept. 24, 2003.

Walker claims that while it took rescue crews up to three hours to extract his leg from the auger blade, he suffered excruciating pain and mental anguish. He is represented by Charles Armbruster III of the Lakin Law Firm in Wood River.

His suit seeks to recover for losses due to the amputation, lost wages, past and future pain and suffering and for being permanently disabled.

He claims that the machinery he was working with was unreasonably dangerous and defective as it was not accompanied with adequate warnings regarding the dangers associated with foreseeable slipping while working inside the product.

According to the complaint, the product was not equipped with an emergency shutoff or kill switch for the auger. Walker also alleges that the auger was not fully enclosed so that people working in the vicinity of the equipment could not become entangled or exposed to the rotating auger blade, and that the auger drive system was not equipped with a device to cut off the power supply if someone were to become entangled in the auger.

The complaint does not state where the accident happened, but does state the product was manufactured in Illinois.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron.

04 L 1292

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