Worker Who Fell Into Package Shredder Sues “Food Upcycler” for $21 Million

The lawsuit against Addie’s Alternative follows a $28,000 fine from worker safety regulators.

Water pipes stacked in Hermiston. (TFoxPhoto/Shutterstock)

A Hermiston “food upcycler” is being sued for $21 million after a worker was seriously injured after falling into a running package shredder.

Dionicio Ramirez-Pablo was working the night shift at Addie’s Alternative when a damp package caused the shredder he was operating to jam in May 2022. Following his manager’s prior instructions, Ramirez-Pablo jumped onto the conveyor belt in an attempt to dislodge it and then fell into the cutting blades, according to the lawsuit filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court on May 24. His legs were badly mangled.

The lawsuit accuses the facility’s managers of negligence for not adopting proper safety protocols or offering Ramirez-Pablo, who spoke little English, sufficient training.

Addie’s Alternative was founded by Luke Dynes, who explains its mission on the company website: “In 2018 I had the idea to create a better process to recover packaged food and drive a upcycled value out of it as well, at this point Addie’s Alternative was born to be a better alternative for food waste.”

The machine operated by Ramirez-Pablo was one of two at the Hermiston facility. One machine had a steel safety guard over the blades. Ramirez-Pablo’s did not.

Not only that, the machines were not compliant with state worker safety regulations. The facility accumulated more than $28,000 in fines after Oregon Occupational Safety and Health, the state regulator, investigated the incident.

Dynes, the facility’s owner, did not respond to requests for comment.

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