Court upholds $3 million judgment for Gary man’s steel mill injury
BY Teresa Auch Schultz firstname.lastname@example.org July 30, 2012 4:26PM
Updated: September 1, 2012 6:13AM
The 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a $3 million judgment given to a Gary man who was accidentally shot with grease in 2004 while he worked at then-Bethlehem Steel in Burns Harbor.
Leonard Lapsley, a millwright, was filling a machine with grease when the machine unexpectedly shot the grease at him with enough force to penetrate his body, break several ribs and exit through his back.
“It went into him like a gunshot wound,” his attorney, Edward Wartman, said.
Lapsley sued Xtek Inc., which made the machine, claiming a broken spring in the machine caused the accident. A federal jury in Hammond agreed in 2010 and awarded Lapsley $3 million.
Xtek appealed, but the 7th Circuit ruled Friday in favor of Lapsley.
Wartman said he was happy his client was finally getting the judgment he deserved.
“Finally the guy got justice after so many years,” Wartman said, noting that Lapsley has had 13 surgeries to try to remove the grease from his body.