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Georgia Couple Settles with Bakery Equipment Co. for $2M Over Amputation Injury

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According to the American Association for Justice, a Georgia man and his wife recently reached a $2 million settlement agreement prior to trial with Bakeryequipment.com, Inc., an online supplier of new and used bakery equipment and parts.

The plaintiffs claimed that the defendants failed to re-engage the product’s safety sensors before delivering a bread slicer to the husband, resulting in him losing two of his fingers and part of his hand.

Equipment Company Fails to Restore Safety Sensors

Danish immigrant Jorgen “Jay” Hansen and his wife moved to George in 2015 to start a new business: Nordic Rye, a bakery specializing in Scandinavian rye breads. In an effort to grow and expand his business, Hansen found a used bread slicer on BakeryEquipment.com. The slicer was large, with 24 serrated blades, and was housed in a metal compartment about the size of a gym locker. The blades existed inside, and could be accessed for cleaning via six metal doors. These doors were equipped with safety sensors meant to detect when the doors were open and closed.

If the doors were open, the sensors were supposed to stop the machine from turning on, to prevent any user injury. When Hansen went to see a demonstration of the machine, however, he alleged that Bakeryequipment.com had, unbeknownst to him, disabled five of the safety sensors by placing metal washers over them. This way, they could turn the machine on with the doors open, so Hansen could see how it operated. Hansen agreed to purchase the slicer, but the company failed to remove the washers, essentially rendering those five safety sensors useless.

This would prove disastrous for Hansen.

Baker Suffers Extreme Injuries from Bread Slicer

After using the slicer for about three months, Hansen was performing a routine cleaning the blades in May 2016. Kneeling down so he could reach the blades, he was spraying them with a cleaning solution and then wiping them clean with a cloth. During this procedure, he went to set the spray bottle on top of the machine. The handle contacted the start button. The door was open, but because the safety sensor was disabled, the machine started.

Hansen’s hand got trapped in the blades, and he suffered from extreme injuries, including much skin loss. He was airlifted to a medical center for hand surgery, but had to return three days later for a second surgery that would end in the amputation of his long and ring fingers. He had to undergo subsequent skin grafts, as well.

Hansen can no longer return to his business or baking, in general. He was also an accomplished golfer, pianist, and champion water-skier, but can no longer return to these activities.

Parties Settle for $2 Million

Hansen and his wife claimed that it was Bakeryequipment.com’s negligence that caused Hansen’s injury. The company denied the claims. Eventually, pictures emerged that Hansen took when watching the equipment demonstration. They showed washers taped over the sensors.

The parties settled for a total of $2 million. Hansen and his wife plan to return to Denmark to try to rebuild their lives there.