Lawsuits have been filed on behalf of two Enid, Oklahoma, teens who lost legs while working in a grain elevator last summer. According to the Enid News Eagle, the boys’ parents are seeking damages of $75,000, plus punitive damages, in identical suits against Zaloudek Grain Co.
The two 17-year-old teens were operating an auger on August 4th when the one of the boy’s legs got sucked into the machine. He screamed for help as the other teen called for the emergency stop switch to be thrown. He then attempted to free his co-worker from the machine but was also pulled into it. The teens were trapped for nearly an hour and a half while rescue crews tried to free them. They were eventually pulled from the equipment and transported to a local hospital, where they were treated for critical injuries, including a severed leg, split pelvis, torn bladder, and numerous infections.
The petitions for the lawsuit, filed in October, accused the company of assigning the teens to “work duties in violation of state and federal labor laws”; of being negligent in training and supervising them, and of not having workers’ compensation insurance.
Following an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the company has been fined more than $12,000 for safety violations.