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Woman sues Publix over loss of arm

8:26 PM, Jul 22, 2013   |    comments
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(Florida Times-Union) -- A Jacksonville woman is suing Publix Super Markets over the loss of part of her arm, according to First Coast News' partner the Florida Times-Union. 

According to the lawsuit filed in Circuit Court, Appiffane West was cleaning a conveyor belt at the Publix Distribution Center on Beaver Street on Sept. 7, 2011.

As she reached to remove corn husks stuck near a drum roller, her glove was caught and her hand was pulled into the machinery.

Her right forearm was torn off.

According to the the lawsuit filed by attorney Steve Pajcic, Publix had a lock-out mechanism to ensure the rollers and conveyor belt could not move while an employee was cleaning them. But, the lawsuit claims, the company had instructed its employees not to use the lock-out device.

Weeks before the accident, the lawsuit says, a Publix safety specialist saw a video of the conveyor being cleaned while running and told West's supervisor to make sure the it was shut down.

That warning was ignored, the suit alleges.

Pajcic said that workers compensation insurance covered medical expenses and a percentage of West's lost wages, but will pay her less than $100,000 for the loss of her arm.

The lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $75,000.

West had been working at the Publix facility for three years, since graduating from Terry Parker High School.

A Publix spokesman has not responded to requests for comment.

Florida Times-Union

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