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A Cook County jury has awarded a former iron worker $64 million for a fall that snapped his neck, leaving him paralyzed. In 2007, Ronald Bayer of Monee was working on a warehouse addition in DeKalb when he fell from a beam and landed on a concrete foundation 15 feet below. The 41 year-old third generation iron worker has been left paralyzed from the chest down with very limited ability to move his arms.
According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, Bayer’s attorney said there were no safety cables provided on the steel beams for workers to hook onto. The attorney for the general contractor, Panduit Corp., of Tinley Park, argued that Bayer’s employer required workers to hook a harness into an elevated basket. Their defense was that Bayer chose not to do so this time. The jury found Bayer 20% at fault and Panduit 80% at fault for the fall.
Bayers now lives in a handicap accessible home and requires 24 hour nursing care to attend to his medical needs. The house and his thus far total of $5 million in medical expenses have been covered by workers compensation.
According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falls are the leading cause of death in the workplace and the lack of fall protection is the second most common violation that companies are cited for. If you have been injured in a fall or have sustained any other type of injury in the workplace, contact an experienced Cook County personal injury attorney to protect your rights and help you receive the compensation you may be entitled to.