PHILADELPHIA – A Towanda man whose hand was partially severed while unloading a hopper car is seeking damages.
Dayton Cote filed a complaint on Feb. 26 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against U.S. Silica Co., Norfolk Southern Corp., Schnell Industries and FB Industries alleging negligence.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff was employed by Northeast Freight Transfer Inc.'s Shale Rail subsidiary in Wysox and his job duties included transferring frac sand from rail cars to tractor-trailers. The suit states the plaintiff's employer was under contract by U.S. Silica.
The plaintiff alleges on Feb. 27, 2016, he and co-workers were attempting to unload a hopper car full of U.S. Silica sand, which was wet and would not gravity feed out the gate at the bottom of the hopper car. He alleges while his hand was in the hopper car to free up the sand, a co-worker shut the gate and partially severed his right dominant hand at the wrist.
The plaintiff holds U.S. Silica Co., Norfolk Southern Corp., Schnell Industries and FB Industries responsible because Schnell Industries and FB Industries allegedly designed and manufactured a dangerous and defective machine with an ineffective safety switching system; Norfolk failed to monitor the loading process; and U.S. Silica improperly loaded wet sand product into the cars.
The plaintiff seeks judgment against the defendant in an amount of more than $150,000 plus delay damages, interest, and any further relief the court grants. He is represented by Thomas A. Lynam III and Leonard G. Villiari of Villari, Lentz & Lynam LLC in Philadelphia.