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Judge refuses to leave case involving two Oklahoma teens each losing a leg

Zaloudek Grain Co. sought to have the judge recuse himself in the Garfield County case, claiming he is biased against the company.
BY SHEILA STOGSDILL Published: May 17, 2012

— Lawyers for a grain company where two teenagers each lost a leg in an auger accident have filed motions to have the judge removed from the case, saying he is biased.

Attorneys for Zaloudek Grain Co. filed motions on April 9 and May 9 asking Associate Judge Robert E. Davis to recuse himself from hearing the case involving Tyler Zander and Bryce Gannon.

Davis declined to recuse himself, court records show.

The teens were working together Aug. 4 at the company's elevator in Kremlin when Gannon's leg was caught in an auger. Zander tried to help him but slipped. They were hospitalized for weeks at OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City, where each had a leg amputated.

The lawsuit against Zaloudek was filed Oct. 28 in Garfield County District Court.

Davis, who presides in Kingfisher County, was assigned to the case in November.

The six-page motion alleges the judge made biased statements Jan. 27 by saying Gannon and Zander's parents had not received any compensation for the injures the teens suffered. When Davis made those statements there was no evidence presented or testimony given in court, the motion states.

“The judge had determined that injuries were sustained, that they were egregious and permanent, that no compensation from anyone has been received,” the motion states.

The company was fined $750 because it did not carry workers' compensation insurance for its employees and had not in the five months before the accident.