Articles Posted in Construction Injuries

George Petrosian was performing general repair work at an elevated parking system. While he was standing on a scissor lift, the lift’s work platform fell 25 feet, which caused him to suffer a torn ligament in his left ankle and bilateral torn rotator cuffs.

Petrosian, 72, underwent six surgeries and now suffers from complex regional pain syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Petrosian’s medical expenses were $500,000. He is no longer able to work and has incurred $100,000 in lost income. Petrosian and his wife sued the corporate property owners and one of the property owners individually, claiming that they chose not to maintain the scissor lift in proper working order. The Petrosian family alleged that the lift had been stored outside and became rusty and worn leading to its failure.

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A Cook County judge had dismissed the aggravated negligence claims based on a 2005 Illinois Appellate Court decision. In that case, there was a ruling that “prior knowledge of similar acts is required” to hold a public entity liable for willful and wanton supervision.

The lawsuit arose out of the claim of willful and wanton supervision that Becky Andrews pursued as Jeffrey Andrews’s plenary guardian against the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (Water Reclamation District). The lawsuit did not allege that anyone had previously been injured by the hazardous condition, a very dangerous cross-over between two ladders that allegedly caused head injuries to Andrews from a 29-foot fall to the bottom of the concrete chamber.

Andrews was working as a cement finisher for a joint venture, which the Water Reclamation District hired for a construction project at a water treatment plant.

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Yadvinder Singh, a 30-year-old truck driver, was hired by Destination Anywhere Inc. to haul aggregate materials from Granite Construction Company‘s facility to a construction site. He drove his dump truck to Granite Construction, where an employee loaded it with washed sand.  As Singh drove the truck toward his destination, its right front tire blew out. That caused his truck to leave the road and overturn. Singh was severely injured, taken to a nearby hospital and died that evening. He was survived by his wife and two minor children. He had been earning approximately $50,000 per year.

Singh’s family sued Destination Anywhere claiming it chose not to perform a mandatory safety check on the dump truck two days before the incident. It was alleged that had this inspection been done, it would have been discovered that the front tire’s tread depth was significantly below the limit. The lawsuit also alleged that Granite Construction’s employee was negligent in overloading the truck.

The defendant argued that Singh had routinely instructed aggregate suppliers to load his truck fully. The defendant also argued that maintaining the truck, which Singh had leased from Destination Anywhere, was his responsibility and duty.

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F&H Coatings LLC is a commercial and industrial painting contractor that contracted with Boardman LLC, a manufacturer of steel pressure vessels and tanks. F&H was contracted to sandblast and paint a number of vessels at Boardman’s manufacturing facility. During the contract work, a fatal incident at the Boardman facility killed Tony Losey, an employee of F&H.

At the time of this of this fatal accident, Losey and his F&H supervisor were preparing a 12,000 -pound vessel for sandblasting when the vessel slipped from its supporting racks and crushed Losey.

F & H characterized this event as a “freakish, unforeseeable, and still-unexplained accident.”

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Carl McNeill, an inspector for the South Carolina Department of Transportation, was standing in a designated work zone overseeing repairs to an interstate highway. Dewayne Marshall, an employee of Marketing Associates Inc., who was also working at the site, backed a truck up a ramp and struck McNeill, running over him.

McNeill, 58, suffered serious injuries, which included crushed injuries to both legs, a broken pelvis and a crushed urethra and scrotum.

He required multiple surgeries and rehabilitation and suffers ongoing pain. He is unable to return to his job in which he had earned approximately $636 per week. His medical expenses totaled more than $496,800.

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Victoria Metal Processor Co. bought an insurance policy from Nautilus Insurance Co. to provide insurance coverage to Vivify Construction for accidents involving negligence by Victoria for a construction project in which Vivify was the general contractor.

Nautilus refused to cover a lawsuit filed by a Victoria Metal Processor employee, Pablo Vieyra, who fell from a second-story scaffold because of the alleged negligent supervision by Vivify.

There were two “injury to employee” exclusions in the body of the Nautilus Insurance policy that said it didn’t apply to tort claims by the employees of any subcontractors. Vivify appealed from a judgment that concluded that Nautilus Insurance was not obligated to defend Vivify, the general contractor.  It was argued on appeal that the trial court judge erred in choosing not to consider the terms of the subcontract between Vivify and Victoria.

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A Jackson County, Ill., jury has signed a verdict for $2.3 million for Frank Adams who suffered a shoulder injury and abnormal scarring condition after he dodged a vehicles in a rear-end crash.

Adams was working as an Illinois Department Transportation (IDOT) flagger at the time of the crash. He sued pest-control company Terminix and its employee Brian Doll in 2015 claiming that Doll consciously ignored several school-zone signs and IDOT work warnings before causing the collision with an Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) van in March 2014.

The jury’s verdict, which included $2,500 in punitive damages, is the highest verdict ever reported from Jackson County, Ill., according to the Jury Verdict Reporter. Adams had stopped the Illinois Department of Corrections van driven by Charles Ray Borum, which contained eight inmates at the time, because IDOT workers were trimming trees along Illinois Route 146 near Pope County High School.

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The Illinois Appellate Court for the 1st District has affirmed the decision of a Circuit Court judge dismissing the lawsuit for the injuries suffered by Rudy Nourse while working as an elevator serviceman.

On March 20, 2014, Nourse was working for the Suburban Elevator Co. He and his supervisor were “performing an elevator modernization” project at the River North Apartments in Chicago.

Fred Carter was on the site in his capacity as an elevator inspector for the City of Chicago’s Bureau of Elevators. As the inspection was starting, Carter ordered Nourse to climb down into the elevator pit.  Nourse did so and while he was in the pit, Nourse’s supervisor, unaware of Nourse’s location, powered up the elevator, which descended into the shaft and struck Nourse, injuring him.

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From 1959 to 1964, Rivers Sampson worked as a sandblaster and used silica as an abrasive agent.  In 2014, at the age of 77,  Sampson died of sepsis and silicosis, which is a progressive disease caused by inhaling silica dust. Having silica dust attached to the lungs causes inflammation and scarring.

Sampson’s two surviving adult children brought a lawsuit against more than 20 companies that mined and sold silica for use in sandblasting. It was alleged that these defendants chose not to warn of the health risks of silica exposure. Some of these defendants settled before the trial for confidential amounts or were otherwise dismissed from the case. However, the lawsuit did proceed to a jury verdict against Mississippi Valley Silica Co.

The Sampson family sought punitive damages claiming that the defendants, in choosing not to warn of the known health hazard, constituted actual malice or gross negligence. The Sampson family asserted that the defendant failed to add product warnings regarding the health hazards of silica exposure until 1972, although the industry was well aware of the dangers since at least the 1930s.

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Dean Wilcox fell 50 feet through an open catwalk hatch onto a concrete floor. Having sustained severe injuries, he sued the on-site safety planner, Steven Basehore, for negligent planning causing the fall; Wilcox also named the safety planner’s employer, Bartlett Services Inc., and an intermediary company, ELR Consulting Inc. (ELR), in respondeat superior. ELR was one of the many contractors involved in the cleanup project.

The work being done at the  site was to dismantle a nuclear weaponry facility that measured more than 586 square miles.

Before trial, the court granted ELR judgment as a matter of law. At trial, the court instructed the jury on the borrowed servant doctrine, an extension of respondeat superior. Wilcox appealed both decisions. The Washington State Court of Appeals affirmed.

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