The suit filed by David Jimenez seeks $3 million in damages from the Archdiocese of New York for the 2010 incident at a church in Newburgh where he had regularly prayed for his wife's recovery from cancer.
Delia Jimenez bounced back from cervical cancer in 2010. As a gesture of thanks, Jimenez offered to scrub down the large cross outside the church.
While he was cleaning the massive crucifix, it came unhinged from its mount and toppled onto Jimenez, ABC News said. The 45-year-old father of three had no health insurance and lost his leg in the accident.
The lawsuit contends the church knew the cross was dangerous and should have warned Jimenez not to climb on it.
The family's fellow parishioners raised $7,700 to help with the bills but the church's insurer refused to chip in, ABC said.