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An Indiana jury awarded $48 million in damages to a Westville man who was severely injured in a worksite injury at a region steel mill.

Anthony Arciniega, 42, fell from a ladder at ISG Burns Harbor — now ArcelorMittal — in November 2004. According to court documents, the ladder was covered with refractory concrete due to the negligence of Minteq International, a contractor at the mill.

Arciniega’s attorney, Kenneth J. Allen, said an injured worker cannot directly sue his employer — in this case the steel mill — but he was able to sue Minteq because it’s a third party. Allen said Arciniega will only be able to collect $24 million of the $48 million if the 50 percent fault attributed to the mill is upheld, but Allen will seek post-trial to have 100 percent of the fault attributed to Minteq so that his client can receive $48 million.

The settlement awarded to Arciniega, following a ten-day trial before Lake County Superior Court, is believed to be an Indiana record for paraplegia injury. Jurors determined half the damages should be paid by Minteq and half by the steel mill.

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