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North Dakota woman sues Cabela's, Ohio firm, after severing fingers in meat grinder

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by mossymo, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    This caught my attention since the person is from the state I live in. I think warning labels should be removed from all products. Stupid people will weed themselves out over a period of time and eventually only people with common sense will be reproducing.


    North Dakota woman sues Cabela's, Ohio firm, after severing fingers in meat grinder

    A Larimore, N.D., woman who severed four fingers in an electric meat grinder is suing the companies that designed and sold the machine she alleges was defective.

    Ruth Bornsen, 53, and her husband, Nathan, are seeking more than $150,000 in damages from Pragotrade, an Ohio-based firm, and Cabela's, a Nebraska-based retailer.

    In November 2007, Bornsen was helping her husband at his meat-processing business in Emerado, N.D. She was operating a 1 1/2-horsepower, commercial-grade grinder purchased the month before at Cabela's outdoor supply store in East Grand Forks.

    The Bornsens' complaint says she had not read the instruction manual but had seen her husband use the machine. A plastic plunger came with the grinder to push meat into the grinder's chute. But because meat stuck to the plunger, she was not using it, the complaint says.

    Wearing latex gloves for handling food, Bornsen was pushing deer meat into the grinder with her left hand when the grinder's screw caught the tip of at least one of her glove fingers and pulled her hand into the grinder, the complaint states.

    "My first thought was to shut off the machine, but I could not find an off-switch. I remember screaming for my husband and then grabbing the cord and jerking it until the machine stopped," Bornsen said in an affidavit. "I then remember looking at my hand without the fingers."

    Her husband wrapped her hand in a towel, removed her four fingers from the grinder, put them in a bucket and

    Quantcast took her to Grand Forks to receive medical care, court documents say.

    The couple's complaint says Bornsen has undergone several surgeries and faces more surgeries and therapy to rehabilitate her hand. However, the document does not explicitly say if her fingers have been successfully re-attached.

    The complaint alleges the grinder's chute was too large and that the machine lacked sufficient safety warnings.

    Pragotrade denies those allegations and counters that the couple's negligence caused Bornsen's injuries. The company's response to the suit says the opening on the grinder's chute is 2 3/4-inches wide.

    The grinder has a label that reads, "WARNING: Keep fingers out of feed chute," along with a picture of fingers getting caught. The Bornsens' complaint says the label was under a tray and could not be seen when using the grinder under normal conditions.

    The complaint says Pragotrade manufactured the grinder, but the company denies making the product. Pragotrade acknowledges it took part in designing the grinder and that it sold grinders to Cabela's.

    Cabela's is asking to be dismissed from the suit because it did not manufacture the grinder. Attorneys are set to discuss that issue Feb. 2 at a federal court hearing in Fargo.

    Calls to the Bornsens' home rang unanswered Tuesday. Their attorney declined to comment on the case as did an attorney for Cabela's. A message left for Pragotrade's lawyer was not returned Tuesday.
  2. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    I feel for anyone who gets injuries like this, but I would in no way blame the manufacturer or the retailer for this one.

    Lack of common sense would be the obvious cause.

  3. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    This is what pisses me off with the world today everyone is sue happy. Just because the idiot didn't know what she was doing and she got hurt it must be someone elses fault. In my mind I don't see how any lawyer or judge would even think there was a case here. My response would be. "Your just a moron". Sure it sucks that she got hurt and it can happen but how can you blame anyone but yourself?
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2011
  4. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Typical.. They ( Cabelas or the manufacturer) will probably settle rather than pay attorney and court costs.


    Last edited: Jan 29, 2011
  5. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    People should not be rewarded for stupidity!

    Would she stick her fingers into a moving Mixer?....NO!

    Same common sense would apply!

  6. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    You just cant fix stupid. When do we start taking responsibility for our own actions?
  7. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

  8. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ummmm, I believe she should be sueing him and his business for the damages. He allowed an obviously unqualified person to operate powered machinery in his shop. If I was Cabela's or pragotrade, i would find out if the shop has any insurance and make sure that they milk it first. If that grinder is UL listed and properly marked, then it obviously is not being used properly. The machine was not being used correctly by an untrained person, hus fault, Period.
  9. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Now this is another stupid idiot that is like you are saying Sue Happy. Then there is a lawyer that is representing them too. I think that this should never be anywhere near court too. Like Ron White says "You can't fix STUPID"
  10. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm sure the lawyer is hoping for a settlement, then he gets a cut of the award with minimal work.
  11. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I own a 1 hp Cabela's grinder.  There is a guard attached to the pan to prevent people from putting their hand in the chute.  I cannot reach the throat far enough down to contact the screw on my grinder; the 1.5 horse is even further away.  I am sure they cut off that guard, otherwise you cannot make this happen.  Someone on here a year or two ago was saying they wanted to remove that guard and we all strongly advised them not to for this very same reason.  (hmmmm... wonder if it's the same people???  Now that would be something...!).  The guard is spotwelded on, it wouldn't take much to detach it but it would not be accidental, it would definitely be intentional tampering with the safety guard.  

    I agree with everyone else, it should not be a suit at all.  They were stupid.  If you stand in front of a moving car you will get hit.  If you shove your hand down into a grinder, it will get cut off.
  12. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic

    I agree that this should be considered a nonsense suit, and that the woman ought to be suing her husband's business (for letting an unqualified person operate dangerous machinery).

    I suppose the next thing will be someone trying to sue Jack Daniels because they got a DUI and/or hurt someone.
  13. I say thin the herd! It works in nature - wish it would work for humans!!  As Forest Gump said - "Stupid is as stupid does"
  14. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I'm with everybody else on this, but that's why so many lawyers advertise on TV. To get stupid people who do stupid things to sue somebody, cause like AK1 says it will probably settle out of court & the lawyer will get his cut.
  15. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    The judge should throw it out before it ever gets heard...
  16. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Not Likely...I just saw a news post the other day that some idiot got 1.2 mil over the too hot coffee thing.

  17. shooterrick

    shooterrick Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Same here.  This is why there is a sign on a hair dryer saying dont use in shower. 
  18. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

     Umm, Hello?! Why would i want to get out of the shower with wet hair?? DUH!!
  19. bridgeman

    bridgeman Newbie

    Ah, yes, the good old American Way--it's called "going after those with deep pockets when I make a stupid mistake."  Unscrupulous lawyers (are there any other kinds?) love it.
  20. Funny how someones lack of accountability is everyone elses responsibility.  The biggest problem with suits like this is their impact on the rest of the consumer population.  Companies don't lose money in these cases, they pass the losses back onto the consumers by increasing their prices.  Juries will continue to award gross negligence in the hopes that someday it could happen to them.  Ah, the American dream! 

    Our economy could not survive on rewarding the intelligent, the intelligent are not good consumers.