Pueblo, CO – After suffering a severe head injury during her time in a prison-work program, former Colorado inmate Kandy Fuelling is suing Pueblo Wood Products and the supervisor who allegedly had assured her that the saw was turned off.
When lumber got jammed on a conveyor belt at the Pueblo sawmill where she’d been working through a prison-work program, Fuelling obeyed the prodding of her foreman and fellow inmates. She climbed below the conveyor belt and reached toward the wood. Fellow inmates and on-site supervisors assured her that they had turned the saw off and it was safe to yank the lumber from under the conveyor belt.
According to documents filed at the U.S. District Court in Denver, “upon dislodging the wood, and without warning, a saw came straight at Ms. Fuelling’s head, slicing through her helmet (and scalp, causing her to bleed profusely). Ms. Fuelling screamed as loud as she could, but her voice was muffled by the noise of the saw.”
Fuelling, 48, is also suing the Colorado Department of Corrections and several of it’s employees, including those who drove her back to La Vista Correctional Facility instead of taking her to a hospital. The lawsuit says the still-bleeding and screaming woman should have been rushed immediately to a hospital emergency room. Once she was seen at a nearby hospital, Fuelling had a 4- to 5-inch scalp laceration and received 15 stitches.
At the time of the accident, Fuelling was serving prison time for escape and being an habitual traffic offender. Fuelling has since been released from prison and placed in community corrections.
The lawsuit alleges that “corners were cut and on-the-job-safety training took a back seat to profit margins earned by Pueblo Wood, CCI and DOC.” Lawyers claim that Fuelling’s safety training consisted of receiving four pages of tips including advice for how to avoid avoid back injuries and getting cuts from sharp objects.
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