$6.62 Million Jury Verdict in Failure to Secure Platform, Perform Safety Inspections

Tyler Dahlstrand, 28, was an iron worker employed at Midwest Steel Inc., which FCA US LLC hired as the contractor for a welding project at the Belvedere, Ill., assembly plant.

Dahlstrand was assigned to a night shift and worked above a wire mesh walkway with cut outs covered with unsecured plywood placed under welding blankets.

After climbing down a ladder and onto the mesh walkway, Dahlstrand tripped and fell, landing on a piece of plywood. His body twisted during the fall; he suffered a herniated disk at L4-5. He underwent physical therapy, injections and surgery.

Despite this treatment plan, Dahlstrand continued to suffer from lower back pain. He was not able to return to work as an iron worker and now performs medium duty jobs, including building maintenance and municipal plowing.

Dahlstrand sued FCA US LLC in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago, alleging that it chose not to perform safety inspections during the night shift and failed to enforce safety rules, including OSHA rules requiring plywood to be secured and marked.

FCA US brought a contribution claim against Midwest Steel, arguing it had placed the plywood and exposed its workers to a tripping hazard.

The jury signed a verdict of approximately $6.62 million, including approximately $272,000 for past lost income and benefits. As to FCA’s contribution claim, the jury apportioned liability as 58.5% to Midwest Steel, 33.5% to FCA US and 8% to Dahlstrand.

Dahlstrand’s attorneys presented experts in orthopedic surgery, occupational medicine, construction safety and economics. The defendants presented experts in safety and economics.

The attorneys successfully handling this case for Dahlstrand were Steven A. Berman and Matthew S. Sims, both of Chicago.

Dahlstrand v. FCA US, LLC, No. 15-cv-7603 (N.D. Ill. March 30, 2022).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling construction injury lawsuits, workplace injury lawsuits, product liability cases, and trucking injury lawsuits for individuals, families and loved ones who have been injured, harmed or killed by the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 45 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including River Forest, Franklin Park, Wood Dale, Bloomingdale, Lake Zurich, Rolling Meadows, Prospect Heights, Wheeling, Northbrook, Evanston, Elmwood Park, Stickney, Burbank, Justice, LaGrange, Burr Ridge, Hickory Hills, Alsip, Bolingbrook, Chicago (Ashburn, Auburn Gresham, Back of the Yards, Pullman, Hegewisch, Avalon Park, Hyde Park, Little Italy, Austin, Belmont Cragin, Wrigleyville), Melrose Park, Northlake, Bensenville, and Des Plaines, Ill.

Robert D. Kreisman has been an active member of the Illinois and Missouri bars since 1976.

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