A horrible accident at an upstate Italian restaurant last week, which resulted in a young employee losing the lower part of his arm below the elbow, raises a serious question of who was accountable for the accident.
The accident happened at Violi’s Restaurant in the town of Massena in upstate New York on Thursday, last week. The teenager involved, 17 year old Brett Bouchard, had been working at the restaurant since January last year, supplementing his income while still attending Massena Central High School. The injury to his arm occurred while he was cleaning out a pasta-making machine, which had been left connected to the main power supply while he was working on it.
The machine apparently started up as the young man was cleaning it after the restaurant had closed in the evening. The machine severed his right arm at the elbow. Bouchard was flown to Boston for surgery, which resulted in his arm being reattached, although there is no news at this time whether the operation has been completely successful.
The restaurant re opened for business after the accident, which has not yet been fully investigated.
This workplace accident raises a question of who is responsible. Did the young man receive adequate training in the use of equipment such as pasta machines which are potentially dangerous? Why was Bouchard allowed to use the machine when he was younger than 18? Federal regulations do not permit employees younger than 18 to use “dangerous” equipment. The question remains whether the pasta machine would be regarded as dangerous within the Federal guidelines.
Injuries such as this can have very serious long-term consequences for the victim. Cash has to be found for the cost of any medical assistance and surgery. Loss of earnings may have a long term effect too. There are other consequences such as the psychological effect of a serious injury, the effect on the family members who have to support the victim and the loss of educational opportunities for any young person who needs time to recover away from school or college. While it is hoped that in this particular incident the surgery will prove to be entirely successful, there is the possibility that long term disadvantage will remain.
It is hoped that those parties, when an accident such as this takes place, accept their responsibilities and take action to compensate any victims. However, it is more likely that any victim of an accident that has been caused by someone else’s negligence will have to use an experienced personal injury lawyer to help them prepare a claim for full and fair compensation for their injuries. This is even the case when an employee has been involved in an accident while at work. Worker’s compensation may be paid out eventually, but is not always adequate for all the consequences of the accident. If you, or a member of your family is injured in a situation that is someone else’s fault, you should contact a New York based personal injury lawyer such as Richard S. Jaffe of Cohen & Jaffe LLP as soon as possible after the accident.
Richard S. Jaffe Esq. is a New York and Long Island based personal injury attorney with extensive experience in all types of accidents. Contact him for a free consultation at the Law Offices of Cohen & Jaffe LLP, 2001 Marcus Avenue, Suite W295, Lake Success, NY 11042. Phone: 516-358-6900 or toll free: 800-483-6149.
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