Crucifix chops off man's leg in New York church

David Jimenez with the crucifix that crushed his leg 
By: Sanvi Rizvi 

(Scroll down for video) A man had his leg chopped off after a crucifix fell on him at a New York church, according to a lawsuit filed in court.

The man is now suing the church for $3 million.

David Jimenez was so excited about the recovery of his wife from cancer he offered to clean the large statue outside the Church of St. Patrick in the City of Newburgh, where he spent many hours praying for her to beat the disease.

On Memorial Day 2010, he was washing the dirt from the cross when the marble statues of 600 pounds overturned, crushing his right leg. Doctors later amputated his leg.

Jimenez’s Attorney Kevin Kitson, said that his client sued only after the church denied it was responsible for the accident that led to six-figure medical bills for Jimenez.

David and Delia Jimenez are described as devout Catholics, who immigrated to the United States from Mexico nearly 20 years ago. They have three children, ages 3, 13 and 17.

During his work of delivering for a bakery and a pizzeria, David would pull into the parking lot to pray before the outdoor Crucifix for his wife, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2008.

When she was considered cancer free two years later, the grateful David received permission from the
church authorities to remove garbage from the area around the crucifix and cleaning the crucifix itself, Kitson said.

On May 30, 2010, Jimenez was wearing rags and soapy water to clean the face of Christ, but the crucifix turned over, sending Jimenez to the ground, Kitson said.

The church raised more than $7,000 for Jimenez and his family, but Kitson said his client has not been able to work since the accident.

The church's attorney, Frank Raia, called the accident terrible, but argued that the church is not responsible for the accident.