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Cook County jury awards $64 million to iron worker left paralyzed after fall

Updated: November 16, 2012 3:11PM

A jury on Wednesday awarded $64 million to an iron worker who claimed unsafe work conditions lead to a 20-foot head-first fall that left him paralyzed.

Attorneys for Ronald Bayer, who was 36 when the accident occurred in 2007, allege studs placed in iron beams Bayer was walking on caused him to trip, and proper harnessing equipment to prevent the fall had not been installed.

Bayer, who is from Monee, needs 24-hour medical care.

He had been building a warehouse in DeKalb for the electronics firm Panduit at the time of the fall.

“He just wants to live a normal life,” said Bayer’s attorney, Clifford Horwitz.

Panduit attorney John Patton argues the fall was Bayer’s fault.

“Mr. Bayer was instructed to stay (in the bucket of a cherry picker) and decided on his own to climb out, untie himself, and fell off the beam,” said Patton, who claims his client plans to appeal the decision.

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