ORLANDO (CN) - A temporary employee claims the Future Foam Carpet Cushion Co. gave him no training on a peeler machine from which a safety guard had been removed, and its "surgically sharp steel blade sliced through [his] pelvis, cutting off his penis and testicles while virtually cutting his body in half."
Edgardo Toucet sued Future Foam, a 3-year-old Florida producing company, and Baumer of America, which made the peeler machine, which is used to cut foam for carpet padding.
Peeling machines have a thin blade that spans the width of the mammoth machine, which slice blocks or cylinders of foam as they pass through.
The complaint states: "At some point prior to any work-related activities with Future Foam, Future Foam removed protective guarding that was intended to prevent workers from coming in contact with the machine's steel cutting blade."
Toucet was working through nonparty Spartan Staffing. "Toucet did not ordinarily operate the machine and had not received any training in the operation of the machine and specifically to conduct the work that he was asked to do when this incident occurred," the complaint states.
"Future Foam removed or had removed protective guarding that was intended to prevent workers from coming in contact with the machine's steel cutting blade," the complaint states. "Based upon the orientation of the surgically sharp steel blade and lack of protective guarding, it was virtually certain to any reasonable person and specifically to Future Foam that a worker would come in contact with the surgically sharp steel blade while changing out the foam core."
The state of the machine "was in violation of one or more state and/or federal regulations," the complaint states. He claims that "Future Foam had been warned about the danger posed by the subject model peeler machine," and that due to the removal of the safety guard, "it was virtually certain at the time of the subject incident that a worker would be killed or injured while using the machine."
Toucet says he "was instructed by Future Foam to change out the foam core on the subject peeler machine. When Toucet attempted to release the mandrel, the surgically sharp steel blade was exposed and activated thereby slicing through the pelvic region of Toucet. The surgically sharp steel blade sliced through Toucet's pelvis cutting off his penis and testicles while virtually cutting his body in half.
"The mandrel release mechanism, in the condition it was at the time of this incident, constitutes an extreme hazard."
Toucet seeks punitive damages for "virtual certainty," negligence, strict liability, disfigurement, loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life, medical expenses, loss of earnings, and loss of earning capacity.
He is represented by Gene Odom of Brandon.