Woman’s Hand Amputated at Chocolate Factory
A 35 year old woman’s right dominant hand was traumatically amputated above the wrist at a Wisconsin chocolate factory in a work accident. Part of her duties required her to test the viscosity of various chocolate products in the plant to ensure proper consistency. She was instructed to push the emergency stop button at the top stair leading to the opening at the top of the mixer. She was also taught to use her hand to dip a dixie cup into the mixer to obtain a chocolate sample.
As instructed our client pushed the e-stop at the top of the stairs to stop the blades that circulated inside the mixer. Believing that the blades had stopped, she used her hand to dip out the chocolate with a dixie cup but unfortunately the blade continued to rotate ripping off her hand as the blade came around.
The chocolate factory was owned by another division of the parent company who leased it to the employer chocolate factory. In Wisconsin where a parent company assumes a duty of care to its subsidiary’s employees it can be liable where it fails to exercise reasonable care in performing its duties. Claims for Safe Place violations, negligent training and supervision and vicarious liability were made against the chocolate company entities.
After multiple mediations, the Plaintiff entered into a confidential settlement with the defendants.