CHARLESTON, S.C.) – A man lost part of his ring finger in a freak accident at a Lowe’s home improvement store on James Island, and now he’s suing the company to prevent similar accidents at the store in the future.
According to his lawyer, Roy Willey, it was Thursday in 2020 at the Lowe’s on Foley Road for his client, Mark Johnson.
“When Mark’s son was looking at the children’s garden supplies, and Mark was looking at the products, he turned around and the boy had a full-sized garden machete in his hand,” said Willie, a partner at the Anastopoulo law firm. He says.
In an interview with his attorneys, Johnson described in detail what happened when he tried to grab the scissors from his son.
“I pulled my hand back, and when I did that, he closed it and snapped the tip of my finger,” he says. “My finger fell on the ground.”
Johnson said he was rushed to the emergency room and underwent extensive surgery to save what was left of his finger, but the memory of the accident still lingers.
“I’m going to sleep there at night thinking, ‘What if it takes the whole finger?’ What if it takes four fingers? What if he takes my hand? What if he hits me in the neck?” Johnson says. “I kept playing it over and over in my head.”
Wiley has since filed a lawsuit on Johnson’s behalf, arguing that the defendants’ negligence could have created a more tragic accident.
“This could be a catastrophic event where Mark’s son seriously injures himself or kills himself,” Wiley said.
Both Lowe’s and Fiskars, the company that made the shears and the display, deny liability, Wiley said.
“We know that’s not right because other products — artisan and other brands — are protecting the leaf on the product,” he said. “And it’s not expensive to do and it’s not difficult to do, but they refuse to do it.”
The suit alleges that the defendants knew or should have known that the way in which the sheaves were exposed was dangerous: on the ground where there were no protective coverings or other precautions. According to the suit, this would never have happened if Lowe’s had used discretion in how they displayed the clippers.
But now, 2 years after the accident and pending litigation, Wiley is arguing that the display is still the same – with clips on the ground and no safety precautions – and that it needs to be changed.
“Lowe is responsible for properly securing the campus,” Wiley said. “And here, we know exactly what can be done—a very cheap fix—plastic covers on the blades, tie-downs, thousands of them sold. [There are] Very simple, inexpensive fixes to make this store safer, which should be a priority for any store owner.
Lowe did not respond to a request for comment.
The following slideshow shows Johnson’s injury. Some may find the images too disturbing.
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