Saturday June 29, 2013

ELIZABETH CONKEY

Staff Writer

NORTH HOOSICK -- Kevin D'Allaird, 33, of Albany, recently reached a million-dollar settlement after sustaining serious injuries at the Bennington Paperboard paper mill in North Hoosick, N.Y.

On Aug. 24, 2007, D'Allaird's left foot was sucked into a paper rewinder, a machine that processes large cores or rolls of bulk paper into smaller, finished cores or rolls.

In the hours prior to D'Allaird's accident, a sales consultant from Buffalo-based Markline Sales Inc. visited the paper mill on behalf of the Montalvo Corp., a Maine-based manufacturer of component parts for paper-making machinery, to assist employees with various issues involving the rewinder.

The consultant recommended D'Allaird change the way in which he fed the paper rolls into the machine, inadvertently making D'Allaird's job considerably more dangerous, and contributing to his injury.

It took nearly half an hour and efforts from multiple paper mill employees to extricate D'Allaird from the machinery.

"The pain I felt cannot be described in words," D'Allaird said.

Since the accident, he has undergone 10 surgical procedures to his left foot.

In the course of the lawsuit, the sales consultant maintained that the advice given to D'Allaird was merely a test and that he hadn't anticipated D'Allaird would continue to operate the machine as per his counsel.

A lawsuit against Montalvo and Markline commenced in 2008.


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After nearly five years of litigation, a trial was scheduled to begin at the Albany County Courthouse on June 10 of this year.

In the weeks leading up to the trial, the parties involved reached the settlement whereby Markline agreed to pay $300,000 to D'Allaird and Montalvo $700,000.

"We are pleased with the settlement," said Michael Conway of Harris, Conway & Donovan, PLLC, the Albany-based law firm that represented D'Allaird. "We hope this will help Mr. D'Allaird move on with his life. He has been through a lot due to another's carelessness."

Contact Elizabeth Conkey at econkey@benningtonbanner.com. Follow her on Twitter @bethconkey.