Maintenance man loses finger, blames defective scrubber

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Apr. 15, 2010, 3:42am

SHERMAN-When attempting to repair a malfunction in a commercial machine, Costco maintenance worker Bora Songur severed a finger after it was sucked into the opening of the vacuum scrubber machine.

He states that he was holding his hand over the intake opening to feel for suction when the machine sucked one of his fingers through the opening, severing the middle finger on his left hand. Songur alleges the scrubber machine was defective and he should have been warned of the defects.

Songur filed a personal injury lawsuit against Costco Wholesale Corp. doing business as Costco Wholesale and the scrubber's manufacturer, The Tennant Co., on April 8 in the Sherman Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

The commercial scrubber is designed to use suction to clean floors and remove wet and dry spills.

The plaintiff claims the defendants are negligent for failing to design the scrubber so that a safety mesh or similar design would prevent fingers from being sucked into the machine during use. Songur claims the machine lacked warnings or instructions regarding proper and safe usage or repair.

Further, Songur accuses Costco of negligence for not properly or adequately training store employees regarding the proper use of the vacuum scrubber machine.

Causes of action filed against the defendants include products liability, manufacturing, design and marketing defect, negligence, breach of duty and violations of the Texas Labor Code.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for medical expenses, physical impairment and disfigurement, physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, lost wages, loss of wage earning capacity, interest and court costs.

Dallas attorney Barrett W. Stetson is representing the plaintiff. Jury trial requested.

U.S. District Judge Richard A. Schell is assigned to the case.

Case No 4:10cv00173

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