"You can only imagine" what Edgardo Toucet is going through after his penis was cut off in an accident at work, one of his lawyers, Michael Valen, told The Huffington Post.
Toucet is suing the Spartan Staffing temp agency that farmed him out to help operate a foam-cutting machine at a factory near Orlando, Fla., according to court papers Valen sent to HuffPost. Toucet's penis and testicles were completely severed by the spinning blade in January 2010.
As the company that leased out Toucet, it was Spartan's responsibility to ensure his safety, the suit contends. Instead, Spartan and its employee named in the suit, Barbara Pridgen, allegedly led him into a dangerous work environment. The blade, called a peeler machine, had no safety guard, the suit claims, because it was intentionally removed before Toucet used it. The suit also alleges that the machine's emergency off-switch worked only occasionally.
Toucet, from Puerto Rico, received no formalized training and spoke no English prior to the accident. He had been given operation instructions in broken English and with hand signals, the suit goes on to allege.
The suit also claims that Spartan knew of other workers who had similar accidents on the same machine.
Spartan, Pridgen and Spartan's parent company, TrueBlue, did not respond Monday to requests for comment.
Toucet, married with children, received worker's compensation, Valen confirmed. His previous suit against Future Foam Carpet Cushion Company, the factory where the accident occurred, was dismissed.
This time around, Valen told HuffPost, "I anticipate getting past summary judgment and going to trial."
While the suit says only that Toucet is asking for more than $15,000 in damages, the amount sought overall "is significant," Valen said.