A Florida man is suing a staffing agency after he lost his penis and testicles in an industrial accident. According to the Broward-Palm Beach New Times, Edgardo Toucet filed suit on Friday in Hillsborough County Court against Spartan Staffing after the agency sent him to a work site where he was not properly instructed how to work a dangerous machine.
Spartan Staffing sent Toucet, a Puerto Rican national who does not read or speak English, to Future Foam, a manufacturing plant, where, according to the lawsuit, he “received no orientation or other formalized instruction or training in preparation for his temporary work assignment as a peeler machine helper.”
The peeler machine is a spinning, razor-sharp blade that cuts uneven edges off of rolls of carpet foam.
“On January 13, 2010,” said the complaint, “while performing work as a peeler machine helper, Toucet came into contact with the machine’s spinning blade and his penis and testicles were completely severed.”
In addition, Toucet’s accident was not the first of its kind on that peeler machine, a circumstance that Spartan was allegedly aware of. The Orlando Sentinel reported that previous court documents indicate that Future Foam had removed a safety device from the peeler.
“The surgically sharp steel blade sliced through Toucet’s pelvis cutting off his penis and testicles while virtually cutting his body in half,” said a previous filing. “Future Foam was aware of prior instances in which workers had suffered injury or death due to insufficient, tampered with, or missing protection on this type of machine.”
Friday’s filing states that Toucet is suing for “gross negligence, respondeat superior and an intentional tort.”
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 9 million unique readers per month and serves more than 30 million pageviews.