A South Carolina man is suing a home improvement store after an accident that resulted in the loss of part of his ring finger.
Mark Johnson was at Lowe’s on James Island, near Charleston, South Carolina, in 2020 when his son got hold of some garden shears, WCSC-TV reported.
At the same moment that Johnson reached for the shears to take them away, his son snapped them shut, cuting off his fingertip, Johnson said.
“I pulled my hand back, and he closed it right as I did that and he snipped the end of my finger off. My finger fell to the ground,” he told WCSC.
He ended up having to have extensive surgery to save the remainder of his finger.
Now, Johnson has sued Lowe’s and Fiskars, the company that manufactured the shears.
Roy Willey, Johnson’s attorney, has said that Lowe’s and Fiskars were negligent in not putting any sort of protection or warning on sharp garden shears.
“Lowe’s has a responsibility to keep its premise reasonably safe. And here, we know exactly what could’ve been done—a very cheap fix—plastic covers over the blade, a tie strap, which they sell by the thousands. [There are] very easy, cheap fixes in order to make this store more safe, which should be the priority of any store owner,” Willey said in the interview.
Willey also told the news station that even now, two years after the accident, Lowe’s still has the same display out, without any protective equipment to prevent further injuries.
The attorney said other manufacturers take safety precautions when packaging and displaying equipment with sharp blades or dangerous parts to prevent injuries.
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“[T]here’s other products—Craftsman and other brands—that do protect the blades on the product. And it’s not expensive to do and it’s not hard to do, but they just flat out refused to do it,” Willey told WCSC.
Lowe’s and Fiskars have denied any sort of liability, according to Willey.
Lowe’s has also not made any public comments on the accident or the lawsuit that stemmed from it, WCSC reported.
Litigation in the case is still pending.
Johnson said the accident with the shears still haunts him.
“I would lay there at night thinking, ‘What if it took the whole finger? What if it took four fingers?,” Johnson told WCSC.
“‘What if it took my hand? What if it hit my wrist?’ I just kept playing it over and over and over in my head,” he added.
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