Injured autoworkers launch $36.4 million lawsuit

Two men injured on the picket line last year after being run over by a minivan are unable to return to work

Two autoworkers from Windsor, Ont., who were run over by a minivan at a picket line last year are suing for $36.4 million.

Donald Milner, 38, a tool and die worker at DaimlerChrysler’s minivan plant and Keith Bennett, a Chrysler paint inspector, answered the call by the Canadian Auto Workers to support striking workers at the Navistar truck plant in nearby Chatham, Ont.

The pair were struck by a minivan driven by a security guard working for Navistar, an Illinois-based truck and engine manufacturer. Neither of the men has been able to work since the accident, which happened in June 2002.

Milner suffered a shattered pelvis, a ruptured bladder, internal bleeding, a crushed elbow and a broken left arm in the accident, according to The Windsor Star. He later contracted infections which led to liver damage and permanent damage to his bowel, heart and lungs and one foot.

Bennett sustained injuries to his hip, groin and buttocks.

They are suing the truck maker and three others for a total of $36.4 million.

The CAW was trying to prevent the company from bringing legal replacement workers into the Navistar plant at the time of the accident, and had issued a call for union members from surrounding areas to come support the workers in Chatham.

The Navistar plant in Chatham is being shut down permanently by the company on July 18, 2003, eliminating 650 union jobs.

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