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EX-UPS WORKER ACCEPTS $1.25 MILLION FOR INJURY

Maria Stoddard, a former United Parcel Service employee who was left with a painful and worsening nerve condition after her foot was crushed by a forklift truck in 1991, accepted a $1.25 million settlement Thursday from insurance carriers for Tops Markets.

After three days of testimony at a negligence trial before State Supreme Court Justice Peter J. Notaro and a jury, the carriers offered the cash settlement which her lawyer, Peter M. Jasen, said she will have within two weeks.

Jasen said Mrs. Stoddard, 34, of Buffalo, was making a delivery to the Tops warehouse on Taylor Road in Depew when a forklift ran over her left foot at about 9 a.m. Sept. 30, 1991. While no bones were broken, the accident left her with permanent nerve damage and a painful and worsening nerve condition known as "reflex sympathetic dystrophy," Jasen said.

Mrs. Stoddard, who had worked for UPS for five years, has been unable to return to work, faces additional surgery, is forced to wear a brace on her foot and faces the possible spread of the painful dystrophy throughout her nervous system, Jasen said.

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