Man who lost finger at museum exhibit plans to sue

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by DAVID SCHECHTER

WFAA

Posted on February 8, 2013 at 9:38 AM

Updated Friday, Feb 8 at 10:08 AM

DALLAS -- Undone. In many respects, that's been the state of Luis Martos-Uribe's life.

As an engineer visiting from Juarez, Mexico, he's been unable to go home since December 30, when an exhibit at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science tore off his ring finger.

"My pain was that my daughter saw what happened to me," Martos-Uribe said. "So I grabbed my finger and ran to get help, and so she wouldn't see me."

The exhibit is called "Jump," where visitors compare their vertical leap to that of various athletes. Martos-Uribe said his wedding ring got hooked on a button that visitors are supposed to push at the top of their jump.

In the 911 call, the operator told the caller to place the finger on a clean cloth in a bag of ice. Martos-Uribe was rushed to the hospital.

"I asked them what happened," he said. "I only did what the exhibit requires -- to jump. I couldn't understand why."

Domingo Garcia is Martos-Uribe's attorney. He plans to sue the museum.

"When this happened, this museum basically denied and hid it, instead of make sure it was publicized and people knew about the danger," Garcia said.

After the incident, the Perot immediately closed the exhibit and it has continued to express sympathy to Martos-Uribe and his family. Museum officials declined to be interviewed on camera, but wrote in a statement, "[The museum] has welcomed hundreds of thousands of guests since its opening, and remains 100 percent focused on ensuring the museum is safe and enjoyable for everyone."

Martos-Uribe spent eight days in the hospital, racking up $40,000 in charges as doctors tried, unsuccessfully, to reattach his finger.

"I had the hope to save it, but when they told me they couldn't -- that was the hardest moment," Martos-Uribe said.

But it will be hard to accept he no longer has a finger to display his pride in his 18 years of marriage.

E-mail dschechter@wfaa.com


FULL STATEMENT FROM THE PEROT MUSEUM OF NATURE AND SCIENCE

“Mr. Martos-Uribe remains in our thoughts, and we extend our continuing sympathies to him and his family.  We take his December accident at the “Jump” exhibit very seriously and acted immediately to close it pending further study. The museum has welcomed hundreds of thousands of guests since our opening, and we remain 100% focused on ensuring that the museum is safe and enjoyable for everyone.”

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