Bricklayer Hits Jackpot
By our man who knows what to do with a Frenchman
|A bricklayer who suffered appalling injuries in a freak accident has been awarded over £2 million in damages after submitting a harrowing letter to the Court adjudicating his claim
I am writing in response to the Court's request for additional information to support the accident report form I submitted to the Industrial Injuries Compensation Board. I originally put 'insufficient grasp of gravity' as the cause of my accident, but in the light of criticisms from the insurance company that I have wildly exaggerated my injuries, I now provide a full account of the incident.
I am a bricklayer by trade. On the day of the accident, I was working alone on the roof of a new eight story building. When I completed my work, I found that I had some bricks left over which, when they were later inspected, were found to weigh more than 600 lbs. Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in the 'jackpot' — a kind of cage we use on site for hoisting and lowering heavy loads — which was attached by a pulley to the side of the building on the eighth floor.
Securing the rope at ground level, I went up to the roof, swung the jackpot out and loaded the bricks into it. Then I went down and untied the rope, holding it tightly to ensure the bricks descended slowly. You will note in section eleven of the accident report form that I weigh 180 lbs. You can imagine my surprise when I was suddenly jerked off the ground. Unfortunately, I panicked and forgot to let go of the rope.
Not surprisingly, I shot up the side of the building at an alarming rate. In the vicinity of the fourth floor, I hit the jackpot which was now racing downward at an equally impressive speed. Unfortunately my hard hat had fallen off due to the rapidity of my ascent. This will explain my fractured skull, facial abrasions and broken collar bone, as listed in section three of the accident report form. Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were wedged two knuckles deep into the pulley.
Fortunately by this time I had regained sufficient presence of mind to be able to hold tightly onto the rope, in spite of beginning to experience a great deal of pain. At approximately the same time the jackpot hit the ground, the bottom fell out of it and the bricks flew everywhere. Without any bricks the jackpot weighed less than 60 lbs. I refer you again to my own weight of 180lbs.
As you can imagine, I began a precipitate descent down the side of the building receiving a number of lacerations and friction burns to my arms along the way. In the vicinity of the fourth floor, I met the jackpot coming up. This accounts for my two fractured ankles, broken wisdom tooth and severe lacerations of my knees and legs. Hitting the jackpot was a stroke of luck. It slowed me down enough to lessen the injuries I incurred when I fell on to the pile of bricks. Fortunately I only cracked three vertebrae and broke my left arm.
I thought my ordeal was over but the jackpot had other ideas. As I lay there on the pile of bricks, in great pain and unable to move, I'm sorry to say I panicked again and let go of the rope. I watched horror-stricken as the now empty jackpot begin its journey back down on top of me. This explains my two broken legs, broken right arm and fractured pelvis.
I hope this answers all the Court's questions.
Author's Note: Before you fire off that vitriolic email telling us we nicked this story from Gerard Hoffnung, I suggest you read this to avoid getting egg on your face.
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