A man who spent hours praying in front of a large crucifix for his wife to beat ovarian cancer was subsequently crushed beneath the same crucifix in 2010. His wife thankfully beat her cancer, but the man who offered to clean the crucifix for the Hudson Valley, New York St. Patrick’s Church did not know the 600 pound marble statuary was unstable. While cleaning the crucifix, the statue toppled, crushing his right leg, which had to be amputated.

The crucifix was apparently only attached to its base by a single screw.  When the victim reached out to clean the statue’s face, he used the cross for support and the whole thing gave way.

The victim is now suing the Catholic church for $3 million. The lawsuit accuses the church of being liable for the dangerous statue, which was outside the front of it. Medical bills have topped the six-figure range, and the man, a Mexican immigrant, has three children to care for. Although the church raised over $7000 for the victim, it did little to help him and his family economically. He cannot work and owes hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills.

Premises liability cases include the factor of whether the danger was known or should have been known to those responsible for the property. The victim was invited to clean the crucifix he believed was instrumental in his wife’s cure by the church. What if the crucifix had killed this man, or even a child playing around it? While the church claims they should not have to pay, they should be thankful a wrongful death suit was not needed.

If you have been seriously injured while on another party’s premises, please contact Robert W. Kerpsack, CO, LPA today for an initial consultation.