Pennsylvania Record

Monday, September 16, 2019

Man's lawsuit alleging maiming by meat mixer removed to federal court

By Nicholas Malfitano | Apr 12, 2017

PHILADELPHIA – The manufacturers of a commercial meat mixer that a Philadelphia man says maimed him on the job last year want a lawsuit filed against them removed to federal court.

Bogdan Jastrzebski and Marianna Jastrzebski of Philadelphia first filed suit on Feb. 28 in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, versus MMYB, Inc. (doing business as Daniels Food Equipment) of Parkers Prairie, Minn. and Hess Meat Machines, Inc. of St. Louis.

According to the lawsuit, the defendants designed, manufactured and sold the DMX-200Q meat mixer to Jastrzebski’s employer in Philadelphia, Petrovsky Market, in 2012.

“On or about Nov. 19, 2016, Jastrzebski was operating the product in the customary way in which it was operated at Petrovsky Market, with the hopper lid open and using the left momentary switch to control the operation of the machine,” the complaint reads.

Jastrzebski released the momentary switch to stop the machine in order to retrieve a piece of meat from the device’s hopper, but in the process, then inadvertently pressed the switch and activated the machine.

Jastrzebski was pulled into the machine as the hopper paddles crushed the bones in his right hand and forearm, which caused open fractures in his right arm and open wounds – thereby twisting the bones around the hopper paddles and exposing his open wounds to the meat product in the machine (which later caused infections).

Jastrzebski was trapped in the machine for more than 30 minutes, before emergency responders rescued him. He later underwent emergency surgery to debride, reduce and fixate the open fractures, as well as the surgical repair of five severed and/or torn tendons. Subsequently, he has required additional hospitalizations and surgery to fight infections and nerve damage.

The plaintiff says his severe injuries were caused by the defective product and the negligence of the defendant manufacturers, including lacerations, a fractured radius, a fractured ulna, nerve injuries, severed and injured tendons, and more.

However, as both defendant manufacturers are based in Minnesota (MMYB) and Missouri (Hess), respectively, and the likely amount of damages in question will exceed the federal court threshold of $75,000, defense counsel filed a notice of removal on March 23 based upon the diversity of citizenship and damages amount.

“Because the parties to this action are citizens of different states, and because the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000, pursuant to Third Circuit law, federal diversity jurisdiction exists and removal of this action is appropriate under 28 U.S.C. Judicial economy, fairness, and convenience to the parties will be served by removing this state action to federal court,” Justina L. Byers said in the removal motion.

For counts of negligence, strict liability and loss of consortium, the plaintiffs are seeking damages in excess of $50,000, plus costs, delay damages, interest and other relief, in this matter.

The plaintiffs are represented by Thomas A. Lynam III and Leonard G. Villari of Villari Lentz & Lynam, in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by R. Erick Chizmar of the Law Offices of Jeffrey L. Eiseman and Byers, both also in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 170207183

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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