Attorney probes case of Fortitech worker’s lost fingers
Exploration of industrial accident could lead to lawsuit
SCHENECTADY A worker at Fortitech lost all of the fingers on his right hand in an on-the-job accident in July, and an attorney representing him has now filed papers in court seeking more information from the company.
The Utica attorney for Balkisoon Narine filed papers in state Supreme Court in Schenectady County seeking the opportunity to inspect the equipment and view any surveillance tapes, warning labels and other information related to the injury.
The filing is not a lawsuit but a filing for “pre-action discovery.” Narine’s attorney, Anthony Murad, wrote that there “may be a cause of action against the manufacturer, distributor and/or others” related to the machinery that caused the injury or those who serviced the machine.
The accident happened July 25 at the Fortitech plant at 2105 Technology Drive, according to the filing. Narine was removing buildup of a vitamin compound inside a vitamin mixer when “power to the vitamin mixer was turned and/or came back on” with Narine’s right hand inside, according to the filing.
Murad declined comment when contacted last week.
A representative of Fortitech’s parent company, DSM North America, said the company was aware of the filing and it is under review. Any allegations that might be made against DSM or Fortitech would be addressed in the appropriate forum, DSM president and general counsel Hugh C. Welsh said in an email.
“Our thoughts are with Mr. Narine and his family following this terrible incident, and we wish him a speedy recovery and rehabilitation,” Welsh wrote.
Welsh called Narine a valued employee who has worked with the company for two years, responsible for training new production employees.
“There is no greater priority at DSM and Fortitech than assuring that every one of our employees returns home to their families every night as safe and healthy as they arrive at the workplace,” Welsh said. “This incident serves to remind us all that we must remain vigilant, disciplined and committed at all times to safety.”
Fortitech manufactures nutrient mixes and additives and employs 520 people around the globe, with nearly half of its workforce at its Schenectady headquarters and Glenville distribution facility. The company was purchased by DSM last year.