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Senior lab engineer sues for $15 million

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Workplace accident at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics left man a quadriplegic

By Carol A. Clark

Samuel M. Roberts was a senior lab engineer at the University of Rochester’s Laboratory (N.Y.) for Laser Energetics when a pipe broke loose from a bracket during an experiment in August 2008.
According to the suit, the pipe and bracket, weighing more than 100 pounds, struck Roberts in the head, fractured his spine and left him a quadriplegic. Roberts filed a $15 million lawsuit last week against Los Alamos National Security LLC and Los Alamos scientist Hans W. Herrmann, who co-directed the experiment that was under way when Roberts was injured.
His lawyer, Louis J. Micca, said Roberts no longer can work. He lost an eye, suffered severe facial injuries and scarring and has recurring pain, as a result of his injuries, he said in a news release.
“It has become an
incredible challenge to live on a day-to-day basis,” Micca said of his client, who lives in an apartment and uses a motorized wheelchair.
Micca said Los Alamos and Herrmann are proper defendants because Herrmann shared an obligation to make sure the experiment was conducted safely.


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