Scrap metal seeker alleges negligence by disposal firm

Carol Ostrow Apr. 30, 2015, 1:24pm


An Allentown man has sued a Michigan foreclosure firm, alleging negligence.

Rene Rodriguez filed a lawsuit April 24 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, against Five Brothers Mortgage Company and Securing Inc., doing business as Five Brothers Inc. of Warren, Michigan, alleging personal injury in 2014.

Five Brothers provides hands-on foreclosure services, via entering foreclosed properties to remove personal belongings on behalf of mortgage holders and/or financial institutions.

According to the complaint, when Five Brothers gained entry to a residence at 320 North Law St., Allentown, it found live firearms ammunition, disposed of the material in trash bags, and placed the bags on the street for collection by the town’s waste management department.

The suit states Rodriguez, who lived at 322 North Law, collected some of the bags to search for scrap metal material and on Nov. 14, 2014, when he attempted to melt the discarded items for scrap, the ammunition residue exploded and sprayed metal fragments onto him.

The suit alleges Rodriquez suffered severe and permanent injuries including blindness in one eye, diminished or lost hearing, multiple shrapnel wounds and medical expenses, The plaintiff cites the defendant for liability, negligence, failure to dispose of hazardous waste properly and provide warning. He also cites: physical and emotional pain and suffering; past and future economic loss, wages and benefits; loss of enjoyment of life; loss of reputation; embarrassment, humiliation and depression.

Rodriquez seeks compensatory and punitive damages in excess of $150,000, attorney fees and court costs. He is represented by attorney Michael T. van der Veen of the Law Offices of Michael T. van der Veen in Philadelphia.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania case number: 5:15-cv-02203-JLS.

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