Jimenez v. St. Patrick's, 2439/2011 - Trial Scheduled In NY Falling Crucifix Case
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
"A jury in Orange County is scheduled to consider whether a pious man who believes God answered his prayers by curing his partner of cancer can recover damages against a church for the leg he lost after the crucifix where he made his devotions toppled on him.
"Jury selection is slated for Jan. 22 before Orange County Supreme Court Justice Elaine Slobod (See Profile) in a case that hinges on whether employees at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church of Newburgh were involved in securing a 530-pound crucifix to its base when the statue was erected more than 20 years ago.
"Slobod already has held that the church did not have actual or constructive notice of any defect, that the defect was not discoverable through a visual inspection and that "the law does not impose a duty on a church to climb on every monument or statue to determine whether it would fall."
"However, she let the case go forward on the allegation that the church was negligent in securing the cross to the base.
"Jimenez v. St. Patrick's, 2439/2011, involves David Jimenez, 44, a deliveryman for a bakery and pizzeria who often prayed fervently at the cross outside the church for his partner when she was stricken with cancer.
"Jimenez's lawyer, Kevin Kitson of White Plains, described Jimenez and Delia Solis as devout Catholics who immigrated to the United States from Mexico nearly 20 years ago. They have three children, ages 3, 13 and 17, Kitson said.
"After Solis recovered, a grateful Jimenez continued to pray at the statue several times a week. But Jimenez noticed that the statue, which had been subjected to the elements for at least two decades, was getting grimy, and he obtained permission from the parish priest to clean it on May 30, 2010.
"Jimenez was standing on the base and moving from one side to the other to clean Jesus' face while holding the cross-beam of the crucifix for support. Suddenly, the structure tumbled forward, knocking Jimenez to the ground, falling on him and crushing his left leg. The leg was amputated below the knee.
"Jimenez sued the church for more than $5 million. The church raised more than $7,000 for his family, but Kitson said that Solis has been unable to work since the accident."
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