A Worker at a Food ‘Upcycling’ Plant Sues After a Shredder Accident Severely Mangled His Legs

Workers in Oregon should be entitled to safe workplaces where they can complete their responsibilities and then return home to family, friends, and loved ones. Too often, that doesn’t happen. Workers may receive insufficient training, inadequate supervision, or machinery that lacks proper safety protections. When a serious injury results, the worker may have a civil claim under Oregon law. If that is you or a loved one, an experienced Oregon industrial accident lawyer can offer invaluable information and advice about this area of the law and how it might apply to your situation.

An unsafe workplace led to a catastrophic injury to one man in Hermiston, according to a lawsuit he filed recently. Willamette Week reported that D. R.-P. was working the night shift at a food “upcycling” facility when a damp package jammed a shredder machine. Based on earlier instructions from the supervisor, the man jumped onto the conveyor belt to free the problematic package. When he did so, he fell into the shredder’s cutting blades, which severely mangled his legs.

The lawsuit, which the man filed here in Multnomah County, alleges many forms of substandard safety. The safety training the man received was deficient and the company failed to adopt safety protocols, the complaint claimed.

The shredder that injured the man allegedly lacked proper safety protections. It was one of two at the facility. The other shredder had a “steel safety guard” over the shredder’s blades, while D. R.-P.’s did not, according to the complaint.

The machines suffered from other safety problems, too. Following the accident, Oregon OSHA investigated and found that the shredders “were not compliant with state worker safety regulations,” handing down more than $28,000 in fines, according to Willamette Week.

Industrial Accident Litigation in Oregon

As a reminder, workers injured on the job in Oregon generally cannot sue their employers for the harm they have endured and (and will face.) That’s because of something called the “exclusive remedy” rule of workers’ compensation law. Injured workers can, however, sue culpable third parties if their negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct contributed to the worker’s injuries.

These are called industrial accident cases in Oregon and can include a variety of scenarios. One possible circumstance involves suing the manufacturer of a defective or otherwise unsafe machine or piece of equipment. Another involves a third-party vendor (such as an entity responsible for installing or repairing machinery/equipment) that failed to do its job properly. Yet another occurs — commonly in the construction industry — when the contractor tasked with ensuring site safety and the safety of all the workers onsite fails to meet its obligations.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 50,000 Oregon workers suffered non-fatal injuries on the job in 2022. The rate of these accidents in Oregon is high, nearly 1½ times the national rate. If you or a loved one were hurt in a workplace accident, be aware that an industrial accident lawsuit can be nuanced and complex, which is why retaining counsel experienced in this area is vital. The knowledgeable Oregon industrial accident attorneys at Kaplan Law LLC have that specialized experience and we’re here to guide clients through this challenging process. Call (503) 226-3844 today or contact us online to set up your free consultation.

50 SW Pine St 3rd Floor Portland, OR 97204 Telephone: (503) 226-3844 Fax: (503) 943-6670 Email: matthew@mdkaplanlaw.com
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