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Report: Panduit Loses Record $64M Suit Over Fall That Paralyzed Worker

Monee ironworker Ronald Bayer claimed the Tinley Park-based contractor didn't provide proper safety equipment, which would've prevented his 15-foot fall from a warehouse beam in 2007 that snapped his neck, the Chicago Tribune reports.

A Monee ironworker paralyzed in a workplace fall won a $64 million verdict Wednesday, Nov. 14, against Panduit Corp., a Tinley Park-based general contractor, the largest verdict awarded to a quadriplegic in the state, the Chicago Tribune reports.

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The lawsuit by Ronald Bayer, 41, claimed Panduit didn't provide safety cables that would've stopped the 15-foot fall he took from a warehouse steel beam onto a concrete foundation in 2007, the report stated. The fall broke Bayer's neck and paralyzed him from the neck down, the report continued. Since the fall, Bayer can grasp with his fingers and has limited movement in his arms, the report stated, adding that he's still in constant pain.

But Panduit's attorney, John Patton Jr., tried to convince a Cook County jury that Bayer was to blame for the accident, because he didn't hook his safety harness to an elevated basket, which is a required practice, the report stated.

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The jury, however, ruled that Panduit was 80 percent responsible for the accident, and Bayer was only 20 percent responsible, the report stated.

Panduit plans to appeal the ruling, the report stated.

 

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