Sears sued after woman severs fingers catching falling hedger

Michelle Keahey Jun. 29, 2012, 3:46am


NEW ORLEANS - A lawsuit has been filed against Sears after the handle on a hedger broke causing the user to catch the tool and the user's fingers to be cut in the process.

Hannah Rucker filed suit against Sears, Roebuck and Co., Craftsman Homelite Tools, Craftsman H. Tools, Homelite Consumer Products and XYZ Insurance Co. on May 23 in St. Tammany Parish District Court. The defendants removed the case to federal court in New Orleans on June 18.

The alleged incident occurred as Rucker was trimming leaves when the handle snapped off the hedger. Rucker was holding the power trigger with her left hand and the handle with her right hand, when the handle snapped off. She reached to catch the machine while it was falling and cut her fingers.

The defendants are accused of negligence for failing to warn, failing to warn by placing a tool on the market that is not suited for intended use, placing a tool on the market that is unreasonably dangerous, unsafe, and possesses a threat to the consumer, selling a product that is unsafe and unreasonably dangerous, and for manufacturing and selling a defective product.

The plaintiff is asking the court for an award of mental anguish, mental stress, medical expenses, inconvenience, permanent scar, permanent disability, permanent loss of use requirement, sever fingers and hand laceration, diminished life style, and pain and suffering.

Rucker is represented by LaPlace attorney Randal L. Gaines.

U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-01540

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