Employee files suit against employer over allegedly debilitating work-related accident

By Andrew Stevens | Jul 24, 2014

NEW ORLEANS – An employee who allegedly lost the use of three of his fingers in a work related accident has filed suit against his employer for not properly instructing him on the dangers associated with tools he was using.

Johan Fernandez, and wife Christina, filed suit against JLG Industries Inc., BFNO Properties LLC, Hand Construction LLC, Zurich America Insurance Co, S&S Property Services LLC, Hartford Casualty Insurance Co. and LB Renovations LLC in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on June 10.

Fernandez claims he attended and was certified in a safety course to use a JLG Go Boom aerial platform on the defendant’s work site. The plaintiff alleges the safety course involved an informational hand-out, a safety and operations video and a written test. Fernandez asserts the entirety of the safety course was done in English even though the plaintiff purports to not speak or understand English.

The plaintiff asserts that someone who wanted him to operate the equipment completed the written test on his behalf. Fernandez alleges these actions led to him not being properly instructed on how to safely operate the work platform, and the unexpected accident.  The plaintiff claims to have lost his pinky finger as well as the use of two other fingers on his left hand as a result of the accident.

The defendant is accused of failing to properly supervise, train, and monitor the plaintiff as an employee, failing to warn the plaintiff of the dangers associated with operating the work platform to cut plywood, failing to train the plaintiff to operate the work platform, and negligent entrustment of dangerous instrumentalities, which the plaintiff claims all led to the loss of use of three of his fingers.

The plaintiff is seeking an unknown amount in damages for pain and suffering, mental and emotional suffering, disfigurement, medical expenses, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of past earning, loss of future earning capacity, permanent disability, loss of consortium, loss of quality of life and a life care plan for future needs.

Johan and Christina Fernandez are represented by Caleb H. Didriksen III from the Didriksen Law Firm in New Orleans.

The case has been assigned to Division C Judge Sidney H. Cates IV.

Case no. 2014-05691.

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