GRAPHIC: Man suing Lowe’s after losing part of finger in gardening tool incident

A man in South Carolina says he is suing Lowe’s after losing part of his finger after a shears incident at the store. (Source: WCSC)
Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 7:39 PM MST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC/Gray News) - A Lowe’s Home Improvement customer in South Carolina said an incident involving gardening shears left him without a part of his ring finger.

According to attorney Roy Willey, the unthinkable happened to his client, Mark Johnson, when he was visiting Lowe’s on James Island.

“While Mark’s son was looking at some children’s gardening supplies, and Mark was looking at his products, he turned around to see his son with full-sized garden shears that were unguarded in his hand,” Willey said.

WCSC reports Johnson shared details of what happened that day in an interview with his attorneys as he said he tried to grab the shears from his son.

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

Johnson said he was rushed to the emergency room and had surgery to save what was left of his finger, but the memory of the incident still lingers.

“I would lay 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 hit my wrist?” Johnson said. “I just kept playing it over and over in my head.”

Willey said he has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Johnson, in which he argues the defendants’ negligence could have caused a much more tragic result.

“This could’ve been a catastrophic incident where Mark’s son could’ve seriously injured or killed himself,” Willey said.

According to Willey, Lowe’s and Fiskars, the company that makes the shears on display, has denied liability.

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

The lawsuit states the defendants knew or should have known the way the shears were displayed was dangerous. According to the case, the incident would have never happened if they had used common sense in how the clippers were displayed.

Willey said litigation is pending two years later, and the display remains the same.

“Lowe’s has a responsibility to keep its premise reasonably safe,” Willey said.

According to WCSC, Lowe’s did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding this report.