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Philadelphia Jury Awards $15M to Worker Injured by Hydraulic Shear

Attorney Daniel Hessel

A jury in Philadelphia, PA returned a $15 million verdict to a 42 year-old laborer whose dominant hand was crushed by a metal-cutting shear that lacked a protective guard.

He was represented by Daniel Hessel, and James Golkow of Golkow Hessel, LLC in Philadelphia. The case is Reyes v. Cincinnati, Inc., Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Case No. No: 3744, before Judge Daniel P. Anders.

Juan Reyes’ hand was crushed on October 11, 2012, while using a hydraulic shear manufactured by Cincinnati Incorporated at Aggregates Equipment in Leola, PA. The shear is used to cut large pieces of metal. The evidence showed that the shear lacked a guard at the point of operation, which the manufacturer either knew about, or should have known about.

Attorney James D. Golkow

“The manufacturer’s technician was on the job site to service the shear a few years before this accident and he neglected to inform the owner about the hazard. After the accident, the shop owner immediately purchased the guard from the manufacturer when he learned it was missing. Unfortunately, it was too late for my client’s sake. He paid the price of this neglect,” Hessel said.

Reyes was unable to return to his former occupation because he lost most of the use of his hand, and suffers from constant tremors and severe pain in his hand.  Mr. Hessel commented, “The shear not only crushed his hand, but also his dreams.”

The suit was filed July 2014 and the trial began on Nov. 14, 2016. The jury found in favor of Reyes on all four of his claims on Nov. 18, 2016, and rejected both of the manufacturer’s affirmative defenses.

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