KERRY HALL: She had been working on a conveyor belt. She was grabbing boxes. And she didn't want to get behind in her work so she tried to grab two boxes at the same time and her right arm ended up getting caught in the conveyor belt. It grabbed her arm, broke her arm and amputated the tip of her, uh, one of her fingers.
FRANCO ORDOÑEZ: you know, she gets rushed to the -- to the hospital, uh, you know, she doesn't know what's going on…
KERRY HALL: While she was at the hospital she says the plant nurse came and visited with her and fed her but also told her that she was expected back for the next shift. Patrick Scott: So she wound up going to work and saying that she was -- wanted to go home. She had asked to go home, that she was crying at work because she couldn't deal with the pain of the physical loss of her finger and her broken arm and the pain of having your body altered.
NARRATOR: Jaime Hernandez worked at Columbia Farms. He saw Cornelia Vicente the day after her she returned to work. The next day when she got there she went around, trembling, sad, crying like she wasn't even there. She wasn't there. Physically yes, but in her thoughts no. She was out of it, gone. I felt like crying with her.
NARRATOR: The Columbia Farms log revealed that Vicente would spend over nine weeks on what it known as "job transfer," given tasks away from the conveyor belt.
KERRY HALL: She said at one point they asked her to sweep and she said it was -- she described it as an impossible task given her broken arm and the pain she was feeling.
NARRATOR: When the reporters compared Vicente's account of her injuries and her medical records with what House of Raeford Farms had reported to regulators they found the company had mentioned the broken arm…but not the amputation.
KERRY HALL: That wasn't noted on this.
NARRATOR: And, the OBSERVER would report, because Vicente didn't miss a complete shift, the accident wouldn't have to be counted as a lost-time injury.
KERRY HALL: She was on job transfer for 64 days. No days away from work.
In The Spirit: Salman Rushdie On Christmas
10 hours ago