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Woman injured at work; large metal plate strikes her face

Walmart is a nationally recognized discount department store chain that carries anything from outdoor patio furniture to the newer additions like produce. But one woman whose job was to work in a banana ripening room at a Walmart distribution center sustained a serious injury after falling debris landed on her.

Being injured in the workplace can cause a number of problems for an employee including health issues and financial challenges. Beyond that, if the injury is serious there are long term affects and even emotional trauma that can result. For this woman, her life won't be the same.

The work-accident occurred in the spring of 2008. The woman had been in the ripening room when a large metal plate fell about 30 feet and struck her face. The physical injuries she sustained are shocking: her face was cut open and her facial muscles and nerves were severed.

As a result, the woman had to have surgery on her face to reconstruct the bones that were smashed in the accident. In addition, she underwent plastic surgery to minimize the scars. But another consequence of the accident is that the woman has seizures several times a week. The seizures themselves have put the woman at risk of epileptic death.

However her seizures can also harm others. Once, the woman had a seizure and was carrying her young daughter. As a result, the two fell down the stairs; neither was seriously injured.

A lawsuit was filed on behalf of the woman against the companies that built the banana rooms. According to testimony from the trial, the metal plate wasn't securely fastened when it fell. After a four-day trial, a jury found in favor of the woman and awarded her a multi-million dollar settlement. Hopefully the award will help the woman financially as she struggles to adjust to life after being injured on-the-job.

Source: Dothan Eagle online, "Jury awards woman $21 million in Wal Mart Distribution incident," Matt Elofson, 28 March 2011

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