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Jury awards $66M to injured physical therapist

BUFFALO — A jury has awarded $66 million to a western New York woman who was left paralyzed when a weight machine at the physical therapy office where she worked fell on top of her.

The Buffalo News reports that a jury in Buffalo reached the verdict Tuesday after a nearly eight-week trial in the lawsuit brought by Natalie Barnhard of Cheektowaga against Cybex International and Amherst Orthopedic Physical Therapy.

She was working as a physical therapy assistant when a Cybex exercise machine at Amherst Orthopedic’s Buffalo office fell on her in October 2004. Barnhard, now 30, suffered two broken cervical vertebrae and had bones compressed onto her spinal cord.

The jury found Medway, Mass.-based Cybex 75 percent liable for the accident and Amherst Orthopedic 20 percent responsible.

Cybex says it will appeal the verdict.