Examples of Blindness Cases Handled by the Rodgers Law Firm That Have Resulted in Favorable Recoveries for Ben’s Clients

DIY Chain Store Worker Blinded in Right Eye – Violation of OSHA Rules

Fort Worth, Texas

Our client was employed as a plumbing department specialist in a national do-it-yourself store with locations all over the U.S. In most company stores, PVC pipe was stored in a horizontal position by placing the pipe on top of brackets that were set into the storage bin walls. In his store, the pipe was stored upright, and bungee cords with u-shaped hooks on the ends were used to keep the pipes together to prevent them from falling over by hooking the ends of the bungee cords over metal rods stuck into the pipe bin walls.

OSHA regulations require that every employer must conduct a hazard survey to determine what hazards employees are subject to in that employer’s workplace. The employer must then determine what protective equipment each employee must use to protect against injury from that particular hazard and require that each employee actually use the protective equipment.

It had been known since at least the early 1990’s that bungee cords are a known hazard for causing eye injuries. Before our client’s injury, this particular employer had been sued three times by customers who had been injured by bungee cords striking their eyes.

OSHA studies made available to employers seven years before our client’s eye injury stated that “a significant portion of all workplace injuries involved workers being struck in the eyes by foreign objects.”

Our client’s employer did not require that workers using bungee cords wear eye protection, as required by OSHA safety regulations.

Discovery after suit was filed showed that our client’s employer did not begin training employees on the requirements of OSHA safety regulations until one year after our client was injured.

One workday the PVC pipe inventory needed to be restocked, so our client and another employee were assigned the task of unhooking the bungee cords, adding more pvc pipe to each vertical bundle, and then re-hooking the bungee cords.

The coworker did not secure one end of a bungee cord properly just moments before the client came near that particular PVC bundle. The hook came loose, and the cord snapped back toward the client’s face. The hook struck his right eye and seriously injured it to the point that he was later determine to be legally blind in that eye.

Our eye expert, a neuro-opthalmologist, testified that the bungee cord blow caused four injuries to the right eye: (1) damage to the optic nerve, (2) loss of central vision in the eye, (3) loss of color sensation and (4) marked loss of brightness sensation. These injuries made him legally blind.

As an aid to the jury, the expert had a pair of eye goggles made that duplicated the loss of vision – anyone who put the eye goggles on experienced the same diminished vision in the right eye that our client had.