We recently filed a lawsuit against Coe Manufacturing Company and two individuals in a state court in Jackson County, Florida. We represent Karen Dudley and Karina Ja-Vaughan Dudley who lost their husband and father respectively when he was killed while working for Spanish Trail Lumber Company in Marianna, Florida.
On March 26, 2009, Rufus Dudley was standing near an industrial planer at the in-feed section of the large wood working machine as 2X4’s were being fed into it. One of the 2X4’s became stuck. Suddenly, the planer ejected the twelve foot piece of lumber out of the in-feed section, striking Mr. Dudley in the chest and killing him.
The planer was made by Ohio-based Coe Manufacturing Company. The company is now owned by U.S. Natural Resources, Inc. Coe sold the planer to Mr. Dudley’s employer in 2005 and installed the planer on the premises of Spanish Trail. The planer was made by Coe without adequate guards and safety devices to prevent the ejection and kickback of large pieces of lumber while the planer is being operated. We will prove that the planer is defective and unreasonably dangerous because it lacked very basic safety devices which have been required on similar wood working machines for over 40 years.
In addition, we have brought suit against Mr. Dudley’s supervisors. Remarkably, this was not the first time that this particularly planer ejected a large piece of wood out of its front section. In fact, according to the investigation done by the local authorities, several pieces of lumber had been ejected out of the in-feed section of the wood working machine prior to this date. Instead of equipping the machine with the proper and needed guards, the employer installed a metal screen in an attempt to stop the pieces of wood. Apparently, the metal screen or fence-like device had been struck so many times that a small hole had begun to open.
Tragically, on this day, the metal screen finally failed and did not stop the piece of wood which killed Mr. Dudley while he was on the job. Cole Portis, Rick Morrison, and I are representing the Dudley family in this case.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
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