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Cheektowaga woman awarded record amount in injury case

By WBFO News

Buffalo, NY – A State Supreme Court jury in Buffalo has awarded a Cheektowaga woman a record $66 million award for an injured that left her paralyzed.

30-year old Natalie Barnhard had testified in an eight week trial that reviewed the design and operation of an exercise machine that fell on top of her, causing her injury six year's ago.

The jury award is believed to be the largest personal injury settlement in Western New York judicial history.

Phillips Lytle law firm represented Barnhard.

"This is a fair and just result for Natalie who is an extraordinary young lady. This demonstrates the jury's tremendous hard work over the last eight weeks. The jury was presented with a great deal of evidence and took its job seriously to reach a fair and just result," said Kevin English, a partner in Phillips Lytle's Buffalo office.

Barnhard sustained her grave injuries on October 22, 2004, when a 608-pound Cybex leg extension machine toppled onto her at Amherst Orthopedic Physical Therapy PC, where she was employed. Barnhard was working as a physical therapy assistant when she was crushed.

The defendant, Cybex, the equipment manufacturer, plans to appeal.