$7.25 million settlement for man who fell at Rodin Museum

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Philadelphia Museum of Art is paying out $7.25 million to a worker who nearly lost his life on the job at the Rodin Museum.

The engineer was badly injured when he crashed through a glass floor in 2012. His medical costs are part of the settlement that was agreed upon earlier this month.

The surveillance video of the accident is as graphic as the injuries suffered by the victim, Phani Guthula.

"He broke, badly, both of his legs. He broke his hip, he broke both of his arms badly," said his attorney, Larry Bendesky.

Guthula, a local energy efficiency engineer, was nearly killed after falling through the glass attic floor of the Rodin Museum.

It happen during museum hours in November of 2012.

"As you can imagine, those who were on the main gallery floor were absolutely stunned, they were shocked to see a man falling 38 feet through the glass ceiling," said attorney David Kwass.

Guthula was in the attic inspecting light fixtures inside the famed museum when the floor gave way.

He survived, but is dealing with lingering physical issues. At one point employed the use of a service dog to do normally mundane things like remove his socks.

Jury selection for the ensuing lawsuit was about to get underway when the $7.25 million settlement was agreed upon.

Guthula's attorneys say the settlement brought some sense of closure to their client, but the effects of his injuries will likely linger the rest of his life.

"He's doing the very best he can do. He is living every day fighting through it, putting his best foot forward, and working towards living a normal life," said Bendesky.

Guthula also suffered brain damage in the fall.

New security measures have been installed to make sure no one has access to that glass floor in the future.
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