Carol Ostrow Jul. 29, 2015, 1:33pm

A Cook County worker is suing an Indiana corporation, alleging product negligence in a workplace accident that severed his hand.

Stanton Simmons filed a lawsuit July 23 in Cook County Circuit Court against East Chicago Machine Tool Corporation, doing business as Balemaster, alleging strict liability in a May accident involving scrap baling machinery.

According to the filing, Balemaster designs, manufactures and sells scrap balers throughout the United States. The suit states Simmons, employed by Illinois packing company Accord Carton, lost his right hand May 15, while clearing a jam and re-threading wire in a scrap baler manufactured by the defendant.

The lawsuit states the machine was defective, unsafe and unreasonably dangerous for its intended use. Specifically, the plaintiff alleges, no safeguards were placed at points where individuals were likely to come into contact with wire, that the machinery could not be safely re-threaded or unjammed without the risk of losing limbs, and that the baler had no shutoff switch close by.

Additionally, the suit states, the machine contained no audible alarms or warnings. Maintaining “the magnitude of the dangers outweighed the utility of the scrap baler,” the plaintiff alleges pain, severe and permanent injuries, lost wages and earning capacity, and impairment.

Simmons seeks more than $50,000, attorney fees and costs. He is represented by attorney Douglas Hopson of The Hopson Firm in Chicago.

Cook County Circuit Court case number 2015L007528.

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