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Connecticut clerk badly hurt trying to prevent sign theft

Actor David Hasselhoff is most famous for his role on the long-running television show "Baywatch" in which he played a lifeguard who rushed to the rescue of swimmers in distress, but a Connecticut convenience store worker was seriously injured recently while rushing to the rescue of Hasselhoff - or rather, a cardboard cut-out of the actor. According to news reports, the store clerk saw people cutting down and trying to steal a cardboard sign bearing the likeness of the actor and rushed out to stop them. As the pranksters drove off, their car apparently struck the clerk, dragging him and causing him to hit his head, police said.

The 36-year-old man was hospitalized in critical condition. The car drove off and police have asked the public for help in finding the people responsible.

Cumberland Farms stores have used the Hasselhoff signs in a campaign to promote the company's iced coffee drinks. The ads clearly play up the actor's camp appeal, and many people apparently find the signs so irresistible that they want to take them home. Company officials have said that so many of the signs have been stolen that they had to increase their order to keep replacing them.

While just about any Hasselhoff-related news can elicit a smile, this story is no laughing matter for the injured clerk and his family. Even if he pulls through, he will almost certainly be left with enormous medical bills and lost wages.

Most employees in Connecticut are covered by workers' compensation when they suffer injuries at work. This can include construction accidents, slip and falls at an office building or just about any other work-related injury.

Typically, accidents caused by a third party can be covered by workers' compensation benefits if the injury was related to work. Connecticut workers' compensation benefits are meant to replace the need for filing a personal injury lawsuit against the employer. However, in the case of an injury caused by a third party, the injured person is typically not prohibited from both collecting the benefits and filing suit against the third party.

Source: Connecticut Post, "Clerk hurt protecting Hasselhoff ad signs," Denis J. O'Malley and Frank Juliano, Aug. 21, 2013

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