PHILADELPHIA – A man claiming to have been permanently blinded and catastrophically injured by a faulty moulding machine at a local lumber facility has sued the manufacturers of the device and the work site where he incurred those same injuries.

Michael Filipovic and Lenore Filipovic of Pottstown filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on April 30 versus Mikron Woodworking Machinery Ltd. and Valley Sales & Equipment (Renfrew) Ltd. of Renfrew, Ontario, Canada, Charles G.G. Schmidt & Company, Inc. of Montvale, N.J. and Tague Lumber, Inc. of Philadelphia.

Per the litigation, Michael was working at a lumber facility and job site in Phoenixville on July 22, 2016, where a Mikron Tilting Arbor Multi-Moulder was being used, a device which utilized a feed roll system on which the wooden panels were guided through the machine.

The suit says this system, however, becomes worn over time through extended usage of the rollers, which creates dangerous levels of wear that may cause the wooden panels to pass through the machine at excessive speeds.

On July 22, 2016, Michael approached a co-worker’s work station, one who was operating an M645 Tilting Arbor Multi-Moulder and cutting designs into wooden panels, while standing approximately 15 to 20 feet from the machine, the suit says.

At that time, while employee Allen Brodie was shaping wood with the device, a wood board suddenly and without warning shot through the machine, ricocheted off the edge of a bin and struck Michael’s skull near his right eye, the suit says.

As a result, Michael suffered four shattered orbital bones, a severed optical lobe causing non-function and blindness in his right eye, a stay in the intensive care unit at Jefferson Hospital, where he was kept on breathing and feeding tubes, a craniotomy due to massive brain swelling, an ocular drain, emotional, neurological, orthopedic, psychological and psychiatric injuries, plus extreme scarring and disfigurement, the suit says.

“Plaintiff’s past paid medical bills are over $500,000. Defendants are jointly and severally liable for the injuries and damages alleged herein,” the suit states.

The plaintiffs aver that the accident would not have occurred, if the defendants provided instruction and notice for the replacement of the table feed rollers on the machine, before they became dangerously over-worn, or incorporated safety features to prevent the wearing of those same rollers.

For counts of negligence, strict liability and loss of consortium, the plaintiffs are seeking damages in excess of $50,000, comprised of compensatory damages, delay damages pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. 238, interest and allowable costs of suit, in addition to a trial by jury.

The plaintiffs are represented by Larry Bendesky, Adam J. Pantano and Robert W. Zimmerman of Saltz Mongeluzzi Barrett & Bendesky, in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 180404695

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nickpennrecord@gmail.com

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