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Connecticut family awarded $100 million in largest settlement in state history

The case comes from a five-year-old incident after a 1,300-pound cube of lighting equipment fell on top of Juan Cruz during a shift at the Locust Street Warehouse.
Credit: Lindsay Parks

HARTFORD, Conn. — A family was awarded $100 million in the largest settlement in Connecticut's history on Wednesday. 

The Connecticut Trial Firm, LLC represented Juan "Mikey" and Emily Cruz in their case against Philips Lighting North America Corp (now known as Signify North America.) 

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The case began with a five-year-old incident, where a 1,300-pound cube of lighting equipment fell on top of Juan Cruz during his shift at the Locust Street Warehouse in Hartford where he'd worked for 15 years. The incident left Cruz with a crushed abdomen, fractured ribs, paraplegia, and the inability to walk again. 

Emily Lopez-Cruz, Mikey’s wife, had to take on the role of round-the-clock caregiver.

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“This case wasn’t simply about negligence. It’s about a family’s life being turned upside down by a catastrophic event that took away a man’s ability to work, function in his day-to-day, and get on the floor to play with his grandkids,” said attorney Andrew Garza. “The most infuriating part is that it was 100% preventable.”

The plaintiffs argued that the equipment was not properly stored when it was dislodged by another worker and fell on Cruz.

The case was decided by a six-person jury and Judge Stuart Rosen confirmed that the Cruz family would be awarded $100 million, the largest personal injury verdict in the state’s history.  

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“This is an outcome that they deserve,” added attorney Ryan McKeen. “Their lives will never be the same, but I hope that this verdict makes both Mikey and Emily feel seen and heard.”

Daniel Dashefsky is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. He can be reached at ddashefsky@fox61.com.


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