After 6 yrs of pain, German gets $425,000
HE HOPES that the $425,000 in damages awarded to him last week will give him a fresh start.
In 2007, German national Tayfun Altin fell through a roof at a worksite near Grange Road and spent a year in hospital and two years in rehabilitation.
He also had 15 operations.
"I have no cartilage in (parts of my) hands now. I can't even hold a bottle of beer for too long, the whole wrist will be in pain," he said.
The metal roofer arrived here in May 2007 to work as a site supervisor with Sheet Metal International Systems, the sub-contractor for a Sysma Construction project.
On Nov 27, 2007, he was working on a roof when he stepped on a 3mm-thick piece of plywood covering a skylight opening. There was no way it could hold his weight.
"There were no barricades, fencing or warning signs to warn me of the skylight opening. Once I stepped on the plywood, it broke and I fell through the opening," said Mr Altin, who arrived here on Feb 24 to collect the money from Sysma, which settled the matter out of court.
"All I could remember was that I tried to break the fall with my hands. That, and the excruciating pain that followed."
He fractured his pelvis and left wrist. His left middle finger was dislocated.
He had an operation on his wrist, one to replace his hip, and 13 to treat an infection that had set in in his pelvic region.
Mr Altin now ekes out a meagre living as a cashier at a petrol station near Stuttgart, earning the equivalent of $1,200 each month.
As a site supervisor here, he had earned a basic monthly salary of $3,650.
"I can't work as a metal roofer anymore because of my injuries," he said with a sigh.