Posted On: January 29, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

Steel Mill Worker who Fell off Ladder Awarded $48 Million Personal Injury Verdict

In the United States, a steel mill worker who became paralyzed to the waist down after he fell from a ladder was awarded a $48 million work injury lawsuit against a subcontractor. Anthony Arciniega sustained a spinal cord injury after he fell 17 feet in 2004.

The 42-year-old worker fell because of the refractory concrete that was covering the ladder. Arciniega’s personal injury lawsuit contends that contractor Minteq International’s negligence contributed to his catastrophic work accident. The jury also decided that the steel mill where the accident occurred should be required to pay half of the $48 million verdict.

Arciniega is now a paraplegic. During the civil trial, coworker and his doctors testified that he went back to work in a wheelchair even though he was experiencing nerve pain. Arciniega says he returned to work within six months of the accident because he needed to support his family.

If you have been injured in a work accident, you may not be able to sue your employer for personal injury, but you may have grounds to file a claim against a liable third party. You are also likely entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits.

A spinal cord injury can occur when a vertebrae gets dislocated or fractured by a blow. The damage can wear into cord tissues and put pressure on certain nerves. This can lead to paralysis. Depending on the degree of paralysis, a person’s ability to move and live a normal life can be severely impaired.

According to Brain and Spinal Cord.org, some of the many effects of paralysis:

• Brain damage
• Speech problems
• Behavioral difficulties
• Blood clots
• Constipation
• Loss of bowel control
• Sexual dysfunction
• Blood sores
• Circulation problems
• Breathing problems

Paralyzed Steelworker Wins $48 Million Verdict, The Huffington Post, December 15, 2008

Signs and Symptoms of Paralysis, BrainandSpinalCord.org

Spinal Cord Injuries, MedlinePlus

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