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Machine Cuts Off|Worker’s Penis

TAMPA (CN) - A Florida man sued a temp agency that sent him to a job where a foam-cutting machine cut off his penis and testicles.

Edgardo Toucet sued Spartan Staffing and Barbara Pridgen, in Hillsborough County Court.

In his complaint, Toucet, a Puerto Rican emigrant who does not speak or write English, claims Spartan Staffing hired him and sent him to the (nonparty) Future Foam manufacturing plant near Orlando.

Spartan Staffing employee Barbara Pridgen was responsible for ensuring compliance with safety training for Spartan's leased employees, including onsite inspections of the client company's job sites, Toucet says in the complaint.

But Toucet claims he "received no orientation or other formalized instruction or training in preparation for his temporary work assignment as a peeler machine helper."

A peeler machine is run by two people, an operator and helper, and uses a razor-sharp blade to cut carpet foam.

"On January 13, 2010, while performing work as a peeler machine helper, Toucet came into contact with the machine's spinning blade and his penis and testicles were completely severed," the complaint states.

Toucet claims that "Spartan was aware that on previous occasions other leased Spartan employees on temporary assignment to the Future Foam plaint were injured in prior similar accidents while operating the same peeler machine."

He seeks damages for gross negligence, respondeat superior and an intentional tort.

He is represented by Gene Odom and Michael J. Valen of Brandon, Fla.

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