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FROM: Joe Smith, Bricklayer

RE: My Accident Claim


I am writing in response to your request concerning Block #11 on the insurance form which asks for "the cause of injuries" wherein I put "trying to do the job alone." You said you needed more information, so I trust the following will be sufficient.


I am a brick layer by trade and on the date of the injuries, I was working alone, laying brick around the top of a four-story building when I realized that I had about 500 pounds of brick left. Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to put them into a barrel and lower them by a pulley which was fastened to the top of the building.


I loaded the bricks into the barrel and flung it out over the side of the building with the bricks in it. I then went down and untied the rope holding it securely to insure the slow descent of the barrel.As you will note on Block #6 of the insurance form, I weigh 175 pounds.

Due to my shock at being jerked off the ground so swiftly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Between the second and third floors, I met the barrel coming down. This accounts for the bruises and lacerations on my upper body. Regaining my presence of mind, again I held tightly to the rope and proceeded rapidly up the side of the building, not stopping until my right hand was jammed into the pulley. This accounts for my broken thumb.


Despite the pain, I retained my presence of mind and held tightly to the rope. At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Devoid of the weight of the bricks, the barrel now weighed about fifty pounds. I again refer you to Block #6 and my weight of 175 lbs.

As you would guess, I began a rapid descent. In the vicinity of the second floor, I met the barrel coming up. This explains the injuries to my legs and lower body. Slowed only slightly, I continued my descent, landing on the pile of bricks. Fortunately, my back was only sprained but I had internal injuries.


I am sorry to report, however, that at this point I again lost my presence of mind and let go of the rope. As you can imagine, the empty barrel crashed down on me. I promise I will never work alone!

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