Galveston amputee seeks $2.5 M from trailer maker

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Jan. 7, 2009, 10:14am

Tony Buzbee

GALVESTON – After having three fingers on his left hand crushed and later amputated, a Galveston County man is suing an area trailer manufacturer for $2.5 million.

Keith Crumby's personal injury lawsuit, which was filed in Galveston County District Court by attorney Tony G. Buzbee on Jan. 5, accuses Santa Fe-based Steelco Inc. of neglecting to ensure the safety of a bond metal press the plaintiff used on Nov. 26.

"The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances in ensuring that the people who they entrust and authorize to use their equipment and property to be a safe, prudent, and careful operator of said press," the suit says.

According to the original petition, Crumby was operating the said press when his some of his digits were entangled and smashed.

Consequently, the plaintiff sought immediate medical attention. Physicians determined Crumby's affected fingers must be removed.

"Mr. Crumby was ultimately forced to have his fingers amputated as a result of this injury," the suit says.

It alleges Steelco built up an unsatisfactory safety record prior to the incident involving Crumby, condemning the business for removing the press's guard.

"The defendant and the defendant's son were negligent in failing to properly use ordinary and reasonable care in handling the defendant's equipment," the suit says.

"The defendant was negligent by removing the safety arms of the press, bypassing the safety switches on the press, failing to proper train Mr. Crumby on the press, failing to supervise the work, and failing to have a clear and safe work area."

Crumby claims to have sustained pain and suffering, physical impairment, disfigurement, and mental anguish as a result of the ordeal. He seeks restitution for lost wages and earning capacity and medical expenses as well as a jury trial.

Galveston County 10th District Judge David Garner is presiding over the case.

Case No. 09CV0012

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