Dwayne Gitter was a union electrician working at an exhibit center disassembling the electrical supply to the lighting that had been used at a recently completed trade show. He was standing on a scissors lift platform when the lift toppled from the weight of heavy electrical cables. Gitter fell 30 feet to the floor below.
As a result of the fall, Gitter, 53, suffered fractures to his left wrist, elbow, hip and four ribs. He also suffered a punctured lung. He underwent open reduction internal fixation of the fractures and surgery to reposition his ulnar nerve in his wrist.
Gitter was hospitalized for almost 2 weeks and underwent about 6 weeks of painful physical rehabilitation. Following that he was in outpatient for physical therapy. The past medical expenses that he incurred were paid by his workers’ compensation carrier.
Gitter continues to suffer pain and a restricted range of motion in his left wrist, elbow and hip. He also suffers from slight left foot drop because of the nerve injury related to this fall. Gitter has been unable to return to work as a construction electrician, but he is retraining with the prospect of returning to some kind of sedentary work in his field of work as a union electrician.
Gitter and his wife sued LightSource Inc., a contractor for the trade show, claiming that liability under the state labor law governing elevation-related hazards was applicable. The Gitters maintained that the scissors lift was not appropriate for the job he was doing and was not secure. He also claimed that LightSource should have provided a heavy-duty lift, stationary scaffolding, and/or a lift that was appropriately anchored and secured with proper footing.
LightSource in turn argued that Gitter was responsible as an operator and was in error, thus causing his own injury. The defendant LightSource argued that Gitter chose not to properly position the lift in a manner that would balance the cables’ weight.
The settlement of $1,200,000 was paid by LightSource’s insurer and before depositions were taken and the commencement of a jury trial.
The attorney representing the Gitter family was Robert V. Fallarino.
On a similar worker injury case, Kreisman Law Offices represented an injured union roofer who fell from an unsecured ladder. He was doing roofing work on an Illinois state sponsored project when the ladder slipped and he fell nearly 30 feet fracturing both of his lower leg bones. In this case, the client was unable to return to his usual course of business as a union contracted roofer and has been restricted to similarly sedentary work after he was retrained in computer technology.
Gitter v. LightSource, Inc., No. 159504/13 (N.E. Sup. Ct. New York County, Dec. 29, 2014).
Kreisman Law Offices has been handling work injury cases, construction site injury cases, scaffold and ladder cases for individuals and families who have been injured or killed by the negligence of another for more than 38 years, in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas including, Evergreen Park, Blue Island, Calumet Park, Riverdale, Dolton, Calumet City, Harvey, Oak Forest, Clarendon Hills, Villa Park, Itasca, Rolling Meadows, Buffalo Grove, Deerfield, Vernon Hills, Northbrook, Wilmette, Highland Park, Highwood, Flossmoor, Maywood and Forest Park, Ill.
Related blog posts: