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Some Workers Comp Levity

Some Workers Comp Levity

October 14, 1987

Great Benefit Insurance Co.
123 Co-Pay Way
Hartford, CT 06155

To Whom It May Concern:

I’m writing you in response to your request for “more information” in regards to my worker’s comp claim. Evidently you didn’t think “bad judgment” was a good enough reason for my injury.

You see, I’m a bricklayer by trade and was working on top of a new 6-story building in our business district. I happened to finish a little early last Friday with about 300 lbs of brick left over. Rather than wheel many loads of brick over to the freight elevator on the far side of the building, I decided to put them all in one barrel and use the pulley system on my side of the building. I proceeded to load all the brick, swung the barrel out, and took the stairs down to untie the rope.

Please take a look at “Box F” on my claim form where I correctly put my weight at 145 lbs. Anyway, I proceeded to untie the rope and immediately began my ascent up the side of the building. Around the 3rd floor I met the barrel of bricks coming down. On my claim form, you’ll note the various head and shoulder injuries sustained in the episode. Don’t get me wrong – at this point I’m still operating with good judgment. I held onto the rope!

Moving on, I did make it to the top of the building. Still noting from my claim form, you’ll see that I did in fact get most of the fingers of my left hand wedged inside the pulley, sustaining 3 broken fingers and various scrapes. However, when that barrel hit the pavement, the bottom busted right open emptying all that brick onto the sidewalk. Well, an empty barrel happens to weigh about 50 lbs. Please refer again to “Box F” my claim form denoting my correct weight at 145 lbs.

Though in obvious pain I did, in fact, hang onto the rope as I found myself headed back down to the ground. Around the 3rd floor I met the barrel coming back up. Please note the various foot and ankle injuries on my claim form that were sustained in this episode. I soon found myself lying on the pile of bricks, unable to walk or roll over. It was at this moment, that I exercised bad judgment. I let go of the rope!


Buford T. Smith