$6 Million Settlement Reached in Injury to Worker Who Fell Through an Unguarded Hole in Floor of Pump Station

Darren Merlino, 47, worked for an electrical subcontractor. While working at a pump station, he fell 10 feet through an unguarded hole in the floor. Merlino suffered fractures to his left ribs, wrist and elbow and a torn left meniscus among other injuries. He now suffers from headaches, seizures and memory problems.

Merlino’s expenses were $127,000. He incurred lost income of about $1.43 million.

Merlino and his wife brought a lawsuit against the job’s general contractor, Powell Constructors, alleging that two of its employees wrongfully removed a metal grate from the floor and chose not to erect a barrier or place warning signs about the hole in the floor, in violation of state labor law and the common law.

The defendant claimed that the hole was open and obvious and that Merlino was aware of the opening earlier that day. The parties settled for $6 million plus waiver of the workers’ compensation lien. The attorney representing Merlino and his wife was Stanley K. Jacobs.

Merlino v. Powell Constructors, No. LASC NC 057486 (Cal. Super. Ct. Los Angeles County, December 2014).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling work injury cases, truck accident cases, automobile accident cases and bicycle accident 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, Bridgeview, Bartlett, Barrington, Barrington Hills, Berwyn, Blue Island, Broadview, Burnham, Burr Ridge, Calumet Park, Chicago Heights, Chicago Ridge, Country Club Hills, Elk Grove Village, Lincolnshire, River Grove and Alsip, Ill.

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