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His father and grandfather were both ironworkers, so Ronald Bayer already had his career picked out. Yet, when he was 36 years old he had an accident that changed his life. He was working on a steel beam at a warehouse being built in DeKalb when he tumbled headfirst into the ground. This fall was from 20 feet off of a rafter. The Tinley Park based company Panduit, who was paying for the warehouse, was the alleged cause of this man’s accident.
The lawyers who represented Bayer maintained that he tripped on some loose studs that were not properly secured. It is also alleged that the company did not provide him with a safety harness to prevent any accidents from happening. The lawyer for the defense offered a different story. They claimed that their workers, including Bayer, were required to strap their safety harnesses to an elevated basket. On this occasion, Bayer chose not to strap himself in.
This accident snapped Bayer’s neck and left him paralyzed from the chest down. It took a surgery to repair his tendons to regain some capacity to grasp with his fingers. The discomfort is so unbearable that Bayer is constantly on pain medication. Bayer also lives in a handicapped-accessible house covered by workers’ compensation and needs around the clock care from two caregivers. These caregivers must reposition him throughout the day so he avoids bedsores that can result in the need for surgery. He was hoping that this suit would allow him to regain some normalcy in his life.
On Saturday, November 17th, a jury found that Bayer was 20 percent to blame and Panduit was 80 percent for the accident. Subsequently, Bayer was awarded with a $64 million dollar settlement. This marks the highest award for a personal injury case in the state of Illinois. Falls at work are the top cause of death on the job from research conducted by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration. If you have been injured at work or from the negligence of another, you need the assistance of an experienced legal professional. Contact a skilled personal injury attorney in DuPage County to discuss your injury.