Tyler Pipe Subject of PBS Documentary - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/10/03 - Tyler

Tyler Pipe Subject of PBS Documentary

After a scathing article in Wednesday's New York Times, Tyler Pipe and it's parent company were profiled on national television Thursday night.

Stories of current and former workers were aired on the PBS series "Frontline". Among them was Marcos Lopez, whose spine was broken in a fall at the plant in March.

"I have worked no where else than Tyler Pipe." he says. Marcos Lopez says he's a loyal man.

"That's the only job I ever had."

But he says the company he gave 28 years of his life to has made his life now-- miserable.

"Until today, [Tyler Pipe management is] thinking that my pain, my symptoms that I got-- that i'm faking, that I'm acting," Marcos says.

He wears a brace and there is no question that his back was broken when he fell at Tyler Pipe.

"I couldn't move. I couldn't move the upper part of my body," he recalls.

He says he was dragged to the clinic by both arms. There was no call for an ambulance.

"They were more concerned about me urinating to have a drug test." All the while, he was in agony and in shock.

"I was crying, sir. Sweating.  Pain."

He recalls what he was told, "'Just go home and sit down on the couch' is what they told me."

It took well over a week before the small clinic that handles Tyler pipe injuries found his spinal fracture. But Marcos says no one at Occu-Safe told him the truth.

"They did not have the courage to say 'Mr. Lopez, that's why you're hurting so much.'"

He was finally sent to a surgeon.  It took three weeks.  Marcos recalls the doctor "said that I was one hair from being paralyzed for the rest of my life." 

The exposure in the New York Times, and PBS is nationwide. Marcos says he speaks with a heavy heart, so the country might know about what he says is business as usual.

"[Profit] all comes at the expense of people-- human sacrifice-- human blood."

Doctors tell marcos there is little chance for full recovery. That is the same prognosis he sees for Tyler Pipe.

"I really hope that place shuts down. It's good for me.  It's good for you.  It's good for our children."

Reported by Morgan Palmer

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