His award had been $10,005, but his lawyers at the firm Worby, Groner, Edelman & Napoli Bern lopped off $2579 for unitemised legal expenses.
Then they took a 33.3 per cent fee of $2124. They also subtracted $352, a fee to the lawyer who referred him.
The remaining $4950 was withheld for unspecified "liens", the letter says.
Mr Galvis thinks this was repayment of workers' compensation for aid."
In May 2005, a friend gave him a business card passed out by the law firm. A representative came to his home.
"The man told me that more than likely I will get sick and I would get 60 per cent of whatever he won," Mr Galvis said.
"He even mentioned the words 'millions of dollars'."
In April 2010, he got a $10,000 offer. A letter from the law firm said he could expect about $5000 after expenses and fees.
It warned that if his case went to trial and he lost, he could owe the firm up to $100,000 in costs.
He took the settlement.
I am speaking of the life of a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children; who has undertaken to cherish it and do it no damage, not because he is duty-bound, but because he loves the world and loves his children… - Wendell Berry, 1971