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An East Aurora man who was seriously injured during a construction accident five years ago accepted a $1.75 million settlement Thursday in his unsafe workplace lawsuit.

Robert A. Puckett, 52, agreed to the settlement just as testimony was to begin before State Supreme Court Justice John A. Michalek and a Buffalo jury.

Courtney C. Genco and Eugene C. Tenney, Puckett's attorneys, said their client will get the full cash settlement within the next 21 days.

Tenney said Puckett, a member of Operating Engineers Local 17, was running a crane hoisting a steel frame when a chain snapped and the steel frame fell on the crane cab, fracturing his hip and damaging his left knee on March 29, 1994.

The defective chain was owned by Donald J. Braasch Construction of Hamburg, the attorneys said.

Puckett also filed suit against the Erie County government, the Bills and prime contractor ADF Construction Corp., but the Braasch concern was legally obligated for the accident, Tenney and Genco said.

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