Farmer amputated by corn picker sues

Kelly Holleran Jun. 1, 2009, 9:16am

A Clinton County man will probably always remember Nov. 28 as the day he lost his left leg in a farming accident.

Albert Tebbe says he was operating a John Deere model 6620 combine in combination with a John Deere 643 corn picker head on that day when he was pulled into the picker head, resulting in a lawsuit.

Tebbe filed his complaint against Sloan Implement Company and Deere and Company on May 21 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Tebbe, who is a grain farmer, says he was clearing crop debris from the front of the picker head when he was accidentally pulled into the gathering chains and rollers of the picker head, causing him to lose his left leg and to sustain severe injuries to his right leg.

According to the complaint, the 62-year-old Tebbe suffered extreme pain from his permanent injuries, incurred medical costs and lost his normal life. He also suffered disability and disfigurement and a loss of income, according to the complaint.

Sloan, which sold Tebbe the picker head, was negligent by selling a picker head that was not equipped with a safe automatic header shut-off device, by selling a combine that allowed Tebbe to leave the operator's platform while the header was still running and by selling a combine with inadequate warnings, Tebbe says.

In the two-count suit, Tebbe is seeking a judgment in excess of $100,000, plus costs.

Tebbe demanded a trial by jury.

Jerald J. Bonifield of the Law Offices of Bonifield and Rosenstengel in Belleville will be representing him.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-523.

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