A South Carolina man who suffered an accident that caused him to lose a portion of his ring finger is suing a home improvement business.
In 2020, Mark Johnson was shopping at Lowe’s on James Island, close to Charleston, South Carolina, when his kid discovered “unguarded” garden shears.
In a provided specific of what transpired on that day, Johnson that when his son unintentionally closed the shears while he was trying to recover them, his ring finger became trapped between the blades and was severed from the rest of his hand. The report said that Johnson was then sent to a hospital for an urgent procedure to save what was left of his finger.
“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,” Johnson said.
Johnson has now filed a lawsuit against Lowe’s and Fiskars, the firm that made the shears. According to the lawsuit the shop failed to properly display the shears and instead left them exposed and in a hazardous position. Roy Willey, Johnson’s attorney, claims that the case was brought on by the fact that this exhibit has not yet been altered. He added that Lowe’s had disputed its responsibility.
“We know that’s not true because there are other products — Craftsmen and other brands — that protect the blades on the product,” Willey said in the interview, “And it’s not expensive, but they just flat out refused to do it.”
“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.
“This could’ve been a catastrophic incident where Mark’s son could’ve seriously injured or killed himself.”
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In order to prevent injuries, the attorney claimed that other manufacturers adopt safety measures when packaging and presenting equipment with sharp blades or dangerous parts.
“[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 said.
However, Lowe’s and Fiskars have denied any sort of liability, Willey said.
“Lowe’s has a responsibility to keep its property reasonably secure,” The Attorney said.
However, the accident with the shears still haunts Johnson.
“I lay there at night thinking, ‘What if it took the whole finger? What if it took four fingers? What if it took my hand? What if it hits my wrist?” he said. “I just played it over and over in my head.”