FINGER follow up.

I saw the hand surgeon today to evaluate my injury.
No hope of reconstruction, but he feels I will be mostly healed in 3 -
4 weeks.
My job now is to use the fingers to get my motion back.
I have to retrain my brain as to where my finger tip is.
Very odd low level programming stuff.
I have gotten estimates of $10K - $15K on the lump sum payment from
Labor and Industries.
I realized that there is some office at L&I where they have books and
charts that say exactly how much each part of your body is worth in
dollars.
Now I have to find a personal injury lawyer to find out what the
customary settlement is for this kind of injury if I choose to sue the
school.
I have mixed feelings about the whole thing.
I don't like lawyers, but it was the school's decision not to spend
money on that machine to make it safe.
I figure I should at least look into it.
Good thing suing the school can't afect your job security.
It is more like suing the schools insurance company anyway.
Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
Loading thread data ...
Can you supply some details as to what happened, how and why and what the school should have done to prevent it?
Lane
Reply to
Lane
They call it "Permanent Partial Disability", yet the Disability Compensation $$ is VERY temporary. This really makes no sense to me. If the injury is permanent (like Washington State says it is), then the compensation should be permanent also.
The other thing I learned about L&I (after suffering a blown disk in my lower back with the associated surgery and rehab) is that every time you mention "L&I" (to the healthcare professional) the listeners face crinkles up and you just KNOW they are thinking "Oh you're using the system" or some other such negative thought. I got so tired of automatically being associated with those few individuals who abuse the system.
Larry
formatting link
'Web Guy & Hobbyist Welder'
Reply to
Larry
Very disappointing to see the opportunistic change in perception (even in good people) when given the prospect of "easy money" . In Ernie's initial post on Sept 11, he states "the cause was purely operator error and I did it to myself". On Sep 23, Ernie is now seeking a personal injury lawyer to sue the school, as it "was the school's decision not to spend money on that machine to make it safe." Perhaps the school's budget had been diminished as a result of paying high insurance costs to protect themselves from unjustified lawsuits! George Soroka
Reply to
George
Ernie Leimkuhler wrote in news:230920041436492803% snipped-for-privacy@stagesmith.com:
Ernie, first my condolensces on the accident, and thank you for sharing it with us.
You could take what the customary payment is from L&I (Workmans Compensation?) and be done with it.
While only you know the details of the transaction of the press between Boeing and the School, whether or not you were a part of that, whether or not you knew about it, whether or not the school directed you or whomever to fit the machine properly with gaurding, actuators etc. You hold those cards. You could and the school probably should have if they didn't call in OSHA to inspect the machine.
One critical thing, you have a gifted talent for TIG welding. How will your handicap affect your ability to perform this work with the precision you had before the accident? What would you do IF the school did away with the welding program, layed you off, or made you so miserable you had to quit. Could your business sustain you? Can you do the precision welding you were able to do in the past?
Your job may well be protected, but will the school look at who was responsible in making the decision in not retrofitting the machine properly and either discipline him/her or terminate them? Might life get miserable for you at the school....
Much to ponder. I suggest writing the whole transaction history of the machine, the retrofitting of it, your accident and how it occurred and then going to consult with an attorney specializing in this sort of thing. It will be sometime before you will know whether or not you can perform your welding with the finesse and precision you used to be able to do. I would ask the attorney's advice about settling or accepting anyting until you are completely healed up and know how you will be affected long term. You need to live with it. Physically, emotionally and financially.
My humble opinion only.... Marty
Reply to
Marty Escarcega
Easy answer...you feel stupid right after you do something like that as you "should have known better"...then you start remembering that they should have known better too.
Koz
Reply to
Koz
Ernie after all, is human and is subject to the 'laws of human nature'. He took responsibility for his actions (like most of us would have AND should have). Then, after the initial shock wore off, he realized a little error like that should not have such grave consequences. Newsflash: the law agrees with Ernie!
If you had any experience working in any area related to Industrial Safety (which you obviously don't or you would not have made such an unprofessional comment) you'd understand how OSHA works and from what point of view safety policies are written.
It's not *solely* up to the operator to ensure he retains all his fingers. Guidelines are published to ENSURE these machines can SAFELY be operated (even when the operator has a bad day). From the initial discussion (right after the accident) it is obvious this machine DID NOT MEET CURRENT OSHA SAFETY REQUIREMENTS at the time of the incident.
If Ernie's lawsuit is in fact an "unjustified lawsuit" (as you claim George) then no credible attorney will take the case or the case will be lost in court. That's the 'checks and balances' already in place in the Legal System.
You ought to be ashamed of your self George, for calling Ernie "opportunistic". It's not like he spilled hot McDonalds coffee in his lap (for Christ's sake), he was operating machinery that was installed in direct violation of OSHA standards. At the very least, his lawsuit will force the owners of the machine to correct the problem so some other innocent person will not walk into the same trap and cut their fingers off (or worse).
My two cents.
Larry
Reply to
Larry
"George" wrote: Very disappointing to see the opportunistic change in perception (even ingood people) when given the prospect of "easy money" (clip) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ In the days before guards and interlocks were considered necessary on machines, "operator error" resulted in serious injury or death much more frequently than it does today. "Operator error" is not a shortcoming of the operator. It is a statistical reality for all of us. Some of us make more mistakes than others, but no one is perfect. In an earlier post, I mentioned that I knew of a couple of instances where very trained, skilled and alert people had accidents. It could happen to you too, George.
Ernie's injury was preventable. The most obvious means of prevention was denied by the school administrators. Let's put the responsibility where it belongs.
Reply to
Leo Lichtman
Your typing is already improving.
If your brain is anything like mine, it should be a short session. The human body is amazing in its ability to adapt.
Funny how the people who made those charts have all their fingers and toes, isn't it?
Nothing like making an informed decision, be it a new welder, or a litigation.
Listen to your gut. I have found that mine has been right most of the time. Go fishing, to a quiet place, or where it is you go when you want answers. It will come
Would you excuse a rental company for choosing not to put brakes on their car?
Absolutely.
You have to weigh the pros and cons. You said you had mixed feelings. You alone will decide if it is worth it.
You mean those people who aren't making hardly any money on those policies, getting taken advantage of by frivolous lawsuits, and who own some of the largest most expensive office buildings on the planet? The only way you could hurt the school district is if you exceed their liability limits. They may have to pay higher premiums, but that's what happens when you have accidents with negligence.
I am sure you will do the right thing.
Steve
Reply to
SteveB
After reading some following posts to this one...and a previous post Ernie said he with others rebuilt the machine to manual controls. I sense anger/greed is a factor (short term I hope). It isn't "The school's insurance company" that has to pay. It is all of us that those expenses are passed on to. The court system will accept anything brought before it and every city has plenty of personal injury lawyers that will make great emotional appeals to juries to get their 50% of settlements!
That said my sincere concern for your recovery stands. I know a number of people that with the same injuries tell me they compensate easily and don't think about it as a disibility. Self respect and respect of others is important!
Reply to
Tbone
Ernie,
Take the L&I money and dont look back or feel one bit of guilt for taking it--employers pay that money into those funds just so it will be there when something like this happens, and my bets are that 2/3 of it at minimum are sucked up just in the costs of administering the system.
As far as filing suit against the school or others, you are on your own here.
Reply to
PrecisionMachinisT
Damn sorry, about the finger Ernie. Good luck with any of your fincial pursuits.
From experience...Whether you have a lawyer or not, and if it is not too late, DO NOT TALK DIRECTLY WITH THEIR INSURANCE COMPANY! They will likely sent some turd over to your house to take a statement with a recorder in front of you. These guys are professionals wearing jeans and talking "good-ole-boy", who will somehow, someway get you to say that it could have been your fault. If they suceed. Then you WILL need a lawyer, to get the statement retracted from them. We did it in Texas.
Yea, there is the initial stupid feelinig like it was your fault. But if there is doubt now, then perhaps the court should decide. I remember lying on the asphault with a broken back from a motorcycle accident; trying to console the woman standing over my body (not helping) that it was my fault that she made a U-turn across three lanes of traffic without looking. I was only going 25 mph. My total cash reaping from that life dibilitating accident...$5700. I think that was enough to pay for the cycle repair, and half an ambulance ride. I still suffer quite a bit today (18 years later), but at least I can walk.
Sternly, >: |
Scott
Reply to
Scott
Greetings Ernie, Physical therapy is real important and can make a huge, and positive, difference in the outcome. Your brain is really good at figuring out changes. I had a tendon fail that extended my thumb. Since there were two tendons going to my index finger one was disconnected and brought around to the thumb. Both tendons connect to the same muscle, but in different spots. As soon as they let me move the thumb it would rise with the index finger. Less than a week was required for me to learn how to raise my finger or thumb without the other digit raising also. It's interesting to watch the muscle tense up in different spots on the right than on the left. ERS
Reply to
Eric R Snow
I surely am not going to get into whether a lawsuit is justified or not, it's not my place to, that is for sure...however, I am wondering where Larry lives that a statement such as this can be made. ""If Ernie's lawsuit is in fact an "unjustified lawsuit" then no credible attorney will take the case or the case will be lost in court. That's the 'checks and balances' already in place in the Legal System.""
In my neck of the woods anybody can sue anybody for what ever "cause" they feel they have and there is a whole gunny sack full of lawyers ready, willing and able to take on the case. As for the courts....shoot, most lawyers gamble that the party being sued will settle before it gets to the court.
Just my $ .02
Marc
Reply to
Marc Jones
Ernie, talk to the lawyer and do what you think is right. I believe the school not only had a legal obligation to make the machine safe, but also a MORAL obligation. Fingers dont grow back and that could have just as easily have been someones whole hand. Money constraints in school budgets are one thing but safety is the schools largest responsibilty. Good luck with your decision.
walt ps. weird how they have a price per body part... if you're left handed, right handed, if you do precision work (like a surgeon), etc... A persons use should be considered i would think.
Reply to
wallster
Best way to see if you have a good case is get an interview with an attorny (usually first consult is free) and see if they would do it ona percentage basis. Then do the same with a few more. If you get all of them to do it on a percentage basis you then know you have half a chance of winning your case as those scumbags won't put a minutes worth of time into something they are not gonna win (and already know in advance fromprior cases etc if they will or not) get $$$$ out of it. Then go find a reputable (if there is such a thing) lawyer to represent you for a set fee or a certain percentage of your award. Visit my website:
formatting link
expressed are those of my wife, I had no input whatsoever. Remove "nospam" from email addy.
Reply to
Roy
formatting link

formatting link
I got the impression that the press was "safetied to death" as it came from Boeing. And Ernie supervised removing the original controls. Sounds like a mess.
Reply to
Pete Logghe
I was sharpening my work knife yesterday on the bottom of a ceramic coffee cup at a clients shop. My hands were greasy and the cup slipped and I quite neatly put the now razor sharp blade into the top of my left thumb just missing the first knuckle and sliced along the bone, under the back side of the nail and nearly removing the nail completely.
Being on blood thinners and doing this is NOT a good combination. The maint guy about puked and was doing a really nice St. Patricks Day Green Leprachan imitation, gulping and swallowing a lot as I examined the damage.
Walked out to the truck, got a couple bandaids, spritzed some betadine solution in the wound, flipped it around a bit to get out the betadine, and used a couple bandaids to hold the meat back together again. I then backtracked and wiped up the blood trail(s)
I just checked it as I type this. Looking good with good color and only a very thin seam to show. Never did hurt. Shrug.
Good razor sharp blade.
Can I sue the client? Can I sue the coffee cup maker? Should I sue myself? Should I sue the maker of the knife?
How about the guy who took the $20 at the gas station when I filled up to go to the client? How about the City of Van Nuys?
Gunner
"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child - miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosphy of sniveling brats." -- P.J. O'Rourke
Reply to
Gunner
No we removed a dead CNC controller and restored manual controls, however the palm buttons got desroyed in shipping from Boeing and I couldn't get the school to shell out money to restore them.
We counted ourselves lucky to have a big press with a foot controller. Believe me, if I had really thought it through at the time I would have fought harder, but the constant wail of the admins at school is "money, money, money".
Now I am having trouble even finding a electrician in Seattle who will wire up safety controlls.
The school has asked me to get an estimate for making the machine safer.
Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
Yeah, sounds like Ernie might wind up having to sue *himself*. He's the school's employee responsible for the press being there, and for it being jury wired in the substandard and unsafe way that it is. Sorry Ernie, I hate that you were hurt, but it looks like it is your fault after all.
Gary
Reply to
Gary Coffman

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.