The family of a 4-year-old Robinson boy who lost both hands in a farm implement accident last year is suing the Bryan farm equipment company that retrofitted the machinery.
The accident occurred Nov. 13, 2020, on the boy’s family ranch in Milam County, and doctors were unable to reattach his hands.
Julie and Clay Ellison, the parents of the boy, are seeking more than $1 million in the lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Waco’s 74th State District Court against Weldon Richard Lloyd, Weldon Richard Lloyd Jr. and John R. Riley, owners of Texas High Roller in Bryan.
Weldon Lloyd Jr. declined comment on the lawsuit Wednesday.
The Ellisons already have settled a separate lawsuit in an agreed judgment with their insurance carrier for $9 million, according to documents filed in the case.
Waco attorney Scott James, who represents the Ellisons, said his law firm, Johnson Hobbs Squires, is honored to represent the boy and his family.
“We are so pleased to have recovered $9,000,000 from Texas Farm Bureau Insurance,” James said in a statement. “The monies received on behalf of the child will provide him and his family access to all the medical treatment he may need for the rest of his life. Even though the injuries that the child sustained are horrible and life-altering, I am pleased that our firm was able to help make a tragic situation somewhat better for the boy and his family.”
The lawsuit describes Texas High Roller as a company that specializes in the fabrication, maintenance and alteration of commercial farm equipment, trucks and similar vehicles.
The business altered a 2011 Ford F550 truck belonging to the Ellisons and attached a livestock mixer/feeder on the back in October 2020.
“More specifically, Texas High Roller added a large crank chain to the lower rear portion of the GEHL mixer/feeder,” according to the lawsuit. “The crank was located within a few inches of the rear bumper of the truck and was intended, when in use, to spin rapidly in connection with the mixer. Upon adding the large crank chain to the lower rear portion of the GEHL mixer/feeder, Texas High Roller failed to attach any guard or protective device to prevent injuries related to the same.”
The boy’s hands got stuck in the chain and both hands were severed, causing “severe, debilitating and permanent injuries,” the suit states.
The family was forced to file suit, according to the petition, “because Defendants have refused to take any responsibility for this incident.”
The suit claims negligence on the part of the company for its alleged failure to ensure their alterations are safe, because the alterations “needlessly endangered” others and because it “had no prior training or experience materially altering” the devices.