MONTGOMERY, ALA. (September 10, 2020) – Beasley Allen’s Kendall Dunson filed a lawsuit on behalf of Markus Williams against G.A. Braun Inc., the manufacturer of the defective conveyor that injured Williams as he was performing his job. Williams’ employer at the time of the injury, Paramount Services, Inc., is also named in the lawsuit. The claim against Paramount Services seeks Worker’s Compensation benefits for Mr. Williams. Williams is also represented by Anthony Ifediba, of the Ifediba Law Group, P.C. in Birmingham, Alabama.
“Mr. Williams was simply doing his job, working to support his family, and because of the defendants’ negligence, he was injured to the point of permanent impairment,” Dunson said. “He not only will suffer from this impairment for the rest of his life, his ability to work has been significantly diminished.”
On Jan. 29, 2020, Williams was performing his assigned duties operating the subject conveyor. Williams’ right arm got trapped in an in-running nip point of the conveyor. The result of the injury required inpatient hospital care, including amputation of Williams’ arm below his elbow. He continues to receive and will require ongoing medical care for the remainder of his life. The injury permanently disfigured and physically and vocationally impaired Williams – leaving him unable to perform some of his normal activities and limiting his ability to work.
The lawsuit alleges that Braun designed a defective conveyor by failing to incorporate adequate safety devices and/or procedures to better protect those using the conveyor as intended. The lawsuit also states that Braun failed to train, direct, and warn users of the harm associated with the equipment.
Additionally, the lawsuit asserts that Paramount failed to maintain a safe working environment and specifically that it failed to maintain and either removed or bypassed the safety devices designed to prevent the type of injury Williams suffered. Further, the complaint explains that Paramount failed to report the incident to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Federal law requires employers to report all workplace injuries that require inpatient hospitalization and/or amputation within 24 hours of the incident. Paramount failed to report the incident. When Williams contacted OSHA through his attorney, the agency explained that it was prevented from investigating because the incident was not reported within six months of occurrence, a limitation established by law.
“When we learned about this regulatory limitation, we expressed our disappointment and concern to federal regulators that this could incentivize employers that fail to adequately protect their employees to also conceal their bad behavior. OSHA’s inability to punish an employer for failing to provide notice of a reportable incident is a gap that should be closed with a stiff penalty. We are thankful for OSHA and what it does to help workers in this country and are willing to advocate for an improved policy that will allow federal regulators more oversight authority,” Dunson said.
The case is filed in the Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Alabama, case number 01-CV-2020-90308.01.