$2.35 MILLION SETTLEMENT AGREED TO IN PRODUCT LIABILITY SUIT

A machinist who lost his right arm in a industrial accident has settled his personal-injury claims for $2.35 million. David Ethridge also obtained a waiver of workers compensation liens of nearly $597,000. Cook County Circuit Judge William D. Maddux formally approved the settlement on April 14, 2005 .

Ethridge, of downstate Glasford, was cutting metal at Dooley Bros. machine shop in Peoria on June 22, 2000 , when the incident occurred. Ethridge was working on a CNC lathe, a computer-controlled machine used to shape metal, when a length of stainless steel bar stock whipped back from the machine, slicing most of his right arm off.

Ethridge claimed that the CNC lathe manufacturer, Goodway Machine Corp., did not make the device with an adequate safety system that would have prevented the steel from extending beyond the machine.

Goodway Machine Corp. is a relatively small CNC lathe manufacturer based in Taichung , Taiwan and did not have a policy of liability insurance to cover the occurrence. A major issue in the case was the collectability of a judgment rendered against a corporation whose assets are located in the Republic of China.

He also claimed the machine’s distributor, Welsh Machine Tool Co. Inc., failed to instruct him properly on the safe operation of the machine.

Robert J. Napleton of Motherway & Napleton, LLP, represented Ethridge.

Ethridge v. Welsh Machine Tool Co. Inc., et al., No. 01 L 11619.