Manufacturing plant molder allegedly amputates man's fingers, resulting in lawsuit

By Nicholas Malfitano | Jul 27, 2017

PHILADELPHIA – A man who lost two fingers while using a piece of molder equipment in a manufacturing plant accident has filed legal action for liability and negligence against the companies he believes are responsible for the traumatic injuries he says he suffered.

James Bonds of Philadelphia filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on July 18 versus Rocheleau Tool & Die Co., Inc. of Fitchburg, Mass., Hydac Technology Corporation of Bethlehem, G&M Electric Co., Inc. of New Orleans, La., Reuland Electric Inc. of the City of Industry, Calif., Kass Corp., Inc. of Carrolton, Texas and Schroeder Brothers Corporation (doing business as “Schroeder Industries”) of Leetsdale.

“On Nov. 23, 2015, plaintiff was employed by Suscon Plastics, Inc. at a manufacturing plant. Plaintiff was assigned to work with a Rocheleau Blow Molder with component parts, all or some of which were designed, manufactured, distributed, supplied, and/or sold by defendants herein, which makes plastic bottles. The molder jammed and/or malfunctioned, causing plastic to become jammed in the molds and preventing the molder from functioning properly. Plaintiff attempted to dislodge the plastic from the molds so that the molder would function properly. While attempting to dislodge the plastic from the molds, the Molder unexpectedly cycled, causing the molds to close onto plaintiff’s right hand, directly resulting in severe and permanent injuries,” the suit states.

When the molder cycled, it caught Bonds’ dominant right hand and caused complete amputation injuries to the second and third fingers.

“The molder was defectively designed, manufactured, assembled, installed, distributed, supplied and/or sold, and was unreasonably dangerous, in that it violated the reasonable expectations of plaintiff to perform and operate in an expected and intended manner (failed the consumer expectation test), and created serious risks of harm during use and operation which far outweighed the burden of making the molder safe (failed the risk-utility test). The molder was defective and unreasonably dangerous because it lacked elements necessary for safe use, such as effective and adequate guards, barriers, and/or interlocks, to keep plaintiff’s hands free from pinch points, sufficient warnings and instructions to instruct users such as plaintiff how to properly clear plastic from the molds, and other deficiencies and defects,” the suit adds.

For counts of strict liability, negligence and breach of express and/or implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for particular purpose, the plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of $50,000, plus interest, delay damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, billable costs, and all other relief as the Court deems just and appropriate.

The plaintiff is represented by James D. Golkow and E. Merritt Lentz of Golkow Hessel, in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 170701681

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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