Man Who Cut Finger with Coffee Grinder Sues Employer for Firing Him

A Philadelphia coffee roaster and retailer is being sued by a former maintenance worker who lost a finger while operating a coffee bean grinding machine for wrongful termination and discrimination based on race and disability.

Antawuan Tymes, an African-American, began working for LaColombe Torrefaction    Inc. in August 2015 as a maintenance and facilities coordinator, according to the complaint.  Tymes claims he was well qualified for his position and performed well.

During his tenure, Tymes claims there were no look-out/tag-out procedures in place.  OSHA requires that such procedures be implemented in order to disable machinery or equipment to prevent the release of hazardous energy while employees perform servicing and maintenance.

On September 28, 2016, Tymes was grinding beans in a new machine and cut his finger, according to the complaint. He was taken to a healthcare facility by a supervisor where his finger was amputated and resulted in him becoming disabled. Two days later he claims he was pressured to return to work.

On October 7, 2016 the company implemented lock-out/tag-out procedures, according to the complaint. Thereafter, Tymes claims the supervisor disciplined him for the Septmember 28 event that resulted in the amputation, despite the fact that the safety procedures had not yet been implemented.

Tymes claims he was again disciplined for allegedly not following the procedures in March 2017, despite the fact that he had performed the lock-out/tag-out process. He further claims that three of his co-workers, who were Caucasian and not disabled, did not follow the procedures, but were not disciplined.

On April 4, 2017 Tymes was terminated for allegedly not following the proper lock-out/tag-out procedure and not receiving approval for overtime and for the accident on September 28, 2016.

Tymes is represented by Koller Law of Philadelphia who brought the action in the Eastern District for Pennsylvania.

Image Source: Baristahoon (Flickr)