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What you need to know for 01/17/2017

Worker who lost hand at Schenectady plant suing firm that built machine

Worker who lost hand at Schenectady plant suing firm that built machine

The worker at Fortitech who lost his right hand in an on-the-job accident last July has now filed su

The worker at Fortitech who lost his right hand in an on-the-job accident last July has now filed suit against the manufacturer of the piece of equipment on which he was injured.

The attorney for the worker, Balkisoon Narine, filed the suit last month in state Supreme Court in Schenectady County seeking an undisclosed sum for pain and suffering as well as medical expenses.

Named as defendants in the suit are American Process Systems Corporation and Eirich Machines, both of Illinois, and Lucia Specialized Hauling, of Schenectady.

Neither Fortitech, the company for whom Narine worked, nor its parent company, DSM North America, are named as defendants.

The accident happened July 25 at the Fortitech plant at 2105 Technology Drive, according to the filing. Narine was removing buildup of a vitamin compound inside a vitamin mixer when the mixer “suddenly, and without warning, began operating,” the suit reads.

Narine’s right hand was so badly injured that it had to be amputated, according to the suit.

American Process Systems and Eirich Machines are identified in the suit as manufacturers of the blender, or having had other input on design, inspection and assembly.

Among the allegations is that they failed to install a safety guard strong enough to keep Narine out of danger or other sufficient safety measures that would have prevented the injury.

Representatives of the companies did not respond to requests for comment.

Lucia Specialized Hauling is accused in the suit of negligence in installing the blender in 2000. Representatives of that company also did not respond to requests for comment.

Messages left with Narine’s attorney Anthony Murad were not returned.

The suit follows a filing by Murad last August seeking to inspect the equipment and view any surveillance tapes, warning labels or other information related to the injury.

DSM North America President Hugh Welsh said an a September email that Narine was a valued employee who had worked with the company for two years. He was responsible for training new production employees.

He also wrote that there is no greater priority at DSM and Fortitech than the safety of employees. Their thoughts were with Narine and his family, Welsh wrote.

Fortitech manufactures nutrient mixes and additives and employs 520 people around the globe, with nearly half of its workforce at its Schenectady headquarters and Glenville distribution facility. The company was purchased by DSM in 2012.

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