Habashi v. The Quaker Oats Co.: A worker whose arms were crushed by a conveyor belt settled his Middlesex County suit on Sept. 12 for $1 million.

Ghattas Habashi was fixing the conveyor belt at Interbake Foods in Elizabeth when he switched it on to test it, a part swung down, hit his head and caused him to fall into the machine’s rollers.

Habashi suffered arm fractures that required surgery and, now 68, has not worked since, says his lawyer, Union solo Martin Kronberg. The suit charged the rollers lacked safety guards, in violation of an industry standard.  The conveyor belt was 50 years old and its manufacturer could not be located.  The suit charged that the plant’s prior owners – Quaker Oats Co (1962 – 80) and George Danone Co., a successor to General Biscuit Brands (1980 – 88) – sold the machinery in its unsafe condition.  By the terms of ther settlement, Quaker will pay $700,000.  Group Danone $300,000.

Quaker’s lawyer, David Menzel of Cuyler Burk in Parsippany, and Groupe Danone’s lawyer, Michael Hensley of Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker in Newark, did not return calls.

Source:  New Jersey Law Journal