Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Oct. 9, 2013, 1:18pm

SHERMAN - An industrial worker has filed a lawsuit claiming that he was blinded when part of a conveyor belt broke and hit him in the head.

Joel Stringfellow filed suit against Applied Industrial Technologies, the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and John Doe Corp. on Aug. 13, 2013 in Grayson County District Court. The defendants removed the case to the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division on Sept. 30.

Stringfellow was an employee of North Texas Sand Farm when the incident occurred on Aug. 9, 2011. His employer purchased a rubber conveyor belt from defendant, Applied Industrial Technologies.

According to the suit, he was assisting with threading the conveyor belt onto the conveyor when one of the vice clamps used to grip the belt discharged and flew toward Stringfellow, hitting him in the head.

Stringfellow claims he suffered a serious skull and orbital fractures, permanent blindness in one eye and other head injuries, according to the suit.

AIT is accused of fraud for representing that the conveyor belt was manufactured by Goodyear, when it was actually an inferior product. Defendant AIT is also accused of negligence and negligent misrepresentation.

Defendants Goodyear and John Doe Corp. are accused of failing to warn of the risks, dangers and adverse events associated with the installation of the conveyor belt, failing to use due care in the design, manufacture, inspection, labeling, marketing, promotion and sale of the conveyor belt, and for failing to conduct adequate testing and research.

The plaintiff is seeking an award of damages for medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, physical impairment, medical and pecuniary losses, interest, court costs and attorney’s fees.

Stringfellow is represented by Matthew R. McCarley, Daniel R. Thering and Audra L. Mayberry of Thering McCarley PLLC in Frisco. A jury trial is requested.

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

Case No. 4:13-cv-00580

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