Jury awards $4.9 million to man who lost arm at Kent manufacturing plant

By Brian Rosenthal | The Seattle Times

A man who lost his left arm in a 2007 accident at a Kent envelope-manufacturing plant was awarded $4.9 million Wednesday.

The King County jury decided Ken Wessling’s injury occurred because the machine he was using at the time was improperly constructed, making it dangerous to operate, according to a news release from his attorney. It added the company that made the machine, Alabama-based Marathon Equipment Company, knew about problems with it and didn’t do anything about it.

“This was an important verdict for safety of workers in an industrial plant,” said Wessling’s attorney, Jack Connelly. “The manufacturer was not paying attention to known problems with this machine.”

After the injury, Wessling received a prosthetic arm but could not return to his job at the Cenveo Envelope plant. Instead, the 44-year-old went back to school and became a medical technician at Children’s Hospital in Seattle.

It is unclear if Marathon Equipment Company will appeal the verdict. A spokesman for the company did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

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