Charleston Co. Man sues Lowe’s after losing part of finger in garden shears accident

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – A man lost part of his ring finger in a gruesome accident at Lowe’s hardware store on James Island and is now suing the company to prevent similar accidents at the store in the future.

According to attorney Roy Willey, it was a Thursday in 2020 when the unthinkable happened to his client Mark Johnson at Lowe’s on Folly Road.

“While Mark’s son was looking at some children’s gardening supplies and Mark was looking at his products, when his son turned around he had a full-size unguarded pruner in his hand,” said Willey, a partner at Anastopoulo Law Firm. says.

In an interview with his lawyers, Johnson describes what happened when he tried to snatch the scissors from his son.

“I pulled my hand back and he closed it right as I did and he cut off the end of my finger,” he says. “My finger fell to the ground.”

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Johnson rushed to the emergency room and later underwent extensive surgery to salvage the remains of his finger, he says, but memories of the accident lingered.

“I lay there at night thinking, ‘What if it took the whole finger? What if it took four fingers? What if it took my hand? What if it hits my wrist?” Johnson says. “I just played it over and over in my head.”

The lawsuit alleges the defendants knew or should have known how the scissors were set...
The lawsuit alleges the defendants knew, or should have known, that the way the scissors were displayed was dangerous.(Anastopoulo Law Firm)

Willey has since filed a lawsuit on Johnson’s behalf, arguing that the defendants’ negligence could have caused a much more tragic accident.

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“This could have been a catastrophic incident, seriously injuring or killing Mark’s son,” says Willey.

Lowe’s and Fiskars, the company that made the scissors and display, both disclaim liability, Willey says.

“We know that’s not true because there are other products — Craftsmen and other brands — that protect the product’s blades,” he says. “And it’s not expensive and it’s not difficult, but they just refused to do it.”

The lawsuit says the defendants knew, or should have known, that the way the scissors were displayed was dangerous: on the floor with no protective covering or other safeguards. According to the suit, this never would have happened if Lowe’s had used common sense when presenting the hair clipper.

But even now, two years after the accident and while the lawsuit is still pending, Willey says the ad is still the same — with the clippers on the floor and no safety precautions — and he argues that needs to change.

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“Lowe’s has a responsibility to keep its premises reasonably safe,” Willey says. “And here we know exactly what could have been done – a very cheap fix – plastic covers over the blade, a zip tie they sell by the thousands. [There are] very simple, low cost solutions to make this store safer, which should be every store owner’s priority.”

Lowe’s did not respond to a request for comment.

The slideshow below shows Johnson’s injury. Some may find the images very disturbing.

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