Former Humboldt County inmate injured in jail work program plans to take legal action

EUREKA, CA. – A former Humboldt County inmate who had his left hand sawed off while in the work alternative program wants to sue.

25-year-old Chase Ganey said the injury happened because of a lack of training on the industrial grade equipment.

“As we were working on it, we used a lift, we put a big log up there, we cut it. We flipped it and when we flipped it my hand got caught underneath and I watched it go under the blade and watched my hand get cut off,” said Ganey, “I had no instructions on the machine, never had seen a manual, never had even seen the machine in my life.”

It was the afternoon of April 4 of this year when the incident happened at the S.W.A.P. yard in Eureka.

Ganey was serving eight months at the time.

That day he was working with a log processor, alongside a supervised S.W.A.P program crew, before being rushed to the hospital.

His hand was reattached surgically, but now has limited movement and requires regular physical therapy.

Ganey has hired Personal Injury Lawyer Eric Levein out of Los Angeles, to help him proceed in pressing charges, for all he says he’s lost.

“It was excruciating pain and I’ve been really down. I haven’t been able to work. I’ve lost money, I’ve lost everything.”

News Channel 3 also spoke with Sergeant Mitch Gratz, who runs the S.W.A.P program, and tells us that while they can’t say a lot because the incident is still under investigation, he did say training is part of the program.

We will continue to update you on this story.