A guardian for an 11-year-old Lee County boy is suing a Texas company that manufactured the concrete mixer that severed his father's legs, killing him, in a 2010 Estero construction accident.
Jennifer Holsapple, who represents the Estate of John Robert Jans of Bokeelia, is suing Volumetric Mixers by Strong Inc. of Houston in the July 21, 2010, death of Jans, 50. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Fort Myers. Holsapple is the guardian of Jason Jans, 11.
The Houston company referred calls to its Tampa attorneys, Charles Bavol and Melissa Krepps. Bavol said they could not comment on pending litigation.
The tragedy occurred while employees of Arnold Brothers Concrete Inc. of Cape Coral were installing a pool at a La Serena Drive home. While mixture was being poured, the lawsuit alleges, Jans climbed up the truck's ladder to gain access to the hopper and bin of the cement box and facilitate the flow of sand into the auger, a rotating element similar to a large drill bit that mixes the cement.
He then fell inside onto the unguarded and unprotected auger assembly, which severed his legs, the lawsuit alleges. Emergency workers pulled him out, but couldn't save him.
The lawsuit contends the manufacturer was negligent because its volumetric mixer was not equipped with guards to prevent access to the exposed auger, and the attached unguarded ladder made the exposed hopper, bin and auger easily accessible.
It also alleges there were no posted warnings, no adequate user manual, and defects that included the lack of a safety interlock system to automatically shut off the auger's power.