A MEXICAN immigrant to the United States was so elated about his wife’s recovery from cancer he offered to clean the large crucifix outside the church in Newburgh, New York state, where he spent hours praying for her to beat the disease.
But he was scrubbing the 270kg marble cross when it fell on to him, crushing his right leg, which had to be amputated.
David Jimenez, 43, is now suing the Roman Catholic church. His $3 million lawsuit is due to go to trial next year.
Mr Jimenez’s lawyer, Kevin Kitson, said he filed the lawsuit in March 2011 after the church denied it was liable for the 2010 accident, which resulted in six-figure medical bills for Mr Jimenez. The bills were paid by charitable foundations, Mr Kitson said.
Mr Kitson said a single screw was holding the heavy crucifix outside St Patrick’s Church in Newburgh to its base, adding: “There was no anchoring system, just that one screw.”
The attorney described the Jimenez family as devout Catholics who came to the US nearly 20 years ago.
The church raised more than $7,000 for Mr Jimenez and his family, but Mr Kitson said his client has been unable to work since the accident.