Articles Posted in Work Injuries

Danny Ruark, a machine operator, was working on track maintenance using a hydraulic drill to drill holes in rails. While at work, he clamped the drill to the rail, drilled a hole, retracted the drill bit and unclamped the rig from the rail to move it to the next spot.

However, one day while at work, after finishing a hole, as he bent down to turn off the drill, he heard a boom. Hot fluid sprayed from a broken hydraulic fluid line and onto him, including into his eyes.

He filed a lawsuit against Union Pacific under the Federal Employers Liability Act, 45 U.S.C. Sections 51-60, using the theory of res ipsa loquitur (“the thing speaks for itself”), a legal shortcut in proving negligence.

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John Smokes worked for a temporary employment agency, Adecco Staffing and was assigned to work at Dentsply Prosthetics. While at work at Dentsply, Smokes was trained on the operation of a rotary mold press machine.

Two weeks after starting his training, while placing a mold into the load area of the mold press, Smokes’s hand became caught in the machine’s automatic push mechanism, causing his long, ring, and index fingers to be crushed by two platens.

Although he pressed the emergency stop button, the platens did not reopen, and his hand was trapped for almost a half hour while his coworkers dissembled the press.

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Jeffrey Andrews was working as a cement finisher for F.H. Paschen S.N. Nielsen and Associates, LLC (“Paschen”) on a project for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (“Water Reclamation District” or “district”), a governmental entity. He fell 29 feet from a ladder to the bottom of a water chamber where he was applying sealant.

The worksite was muddy that day, and the chamber in which he fell had three feet of standing water in it. The other workers, along with Andrews, were required to use a ladder made by the construction crew for part of the descent before “pivoting” by stepping over onto a commercial fiberglass ladder for the remainder of the trip.

There was no platform between the two ladders. Andrews slipped while attempting to transfer between the two ladders landing on a co-worker, breaking multiple bones and suffering “severe, career-ending head injuries.”
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Reflection Window Co. filed in an attempt to limit its contribution liability to Power Construction Co. for an incident that injured Timothy Cooley who was an employee of Reflection Window. The incident occurred at a construction site where Power Construction was a general contractor.

Reflection Window had insisted that the judge was wrong in also ruling that it waived its lien under Section 5(b) of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. Reflection Window had conceded that the Cook County judge was correct in striking the affirmative defense it filed under Kotecki v. Cyclops Welding Corp., 146 Ill.2d 155 (1991).

Power Construction sued Reflection Window for contribution after Cooley sued the general contractor for negligence.

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Bronson Ganka was a maintenance worker for Apartments Downtown Inc.,  a private company that builds apartments in Iowa City, Iowa. Iowa City is a college town where the University of Iowa is located. Ganka was 40 at the time.

While he was drilling holes into a building he was working on, he fell off a ladder and hit the ground 12 feet below.

Ganka suffered head injuries and died several days later. He was survived by his wife, a minor child and two adult children.

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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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In 1959 George Lucas started working as a longshore laborer and clerk at various San Francisco Bay-area piers where ships were loaded and unloaded with cargo.

Reportedly during his breaks, he would venture into the ship’s engine rooms to stay warm.  Often, employees of shipyard contractor Triple A Machine Shop Inc. were in the same engine rooms removing and replacing asbestos-containing insulation, gaskets and packing.

The work that he was doing exposed him to substantial amounts of asbestos dust. His bystander exposure from Triple A employees’ work continued until 1986.

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In December 2016, Arlin Campbell was diagnosed with mesothelioma, which is a disease attributable to exposure to asbestos. On May 4, 2017, Campbell, an Alabama resident, filed suit in the Circuit Court of Cook County alleging that his cancer (mesothelioma) was caused by his exposure to asbestos while working jobs in Illinois, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas between 1961 and 1999.

He named more than 50 companies as defendants. Among his several allegations, Campbell claimed that his exposure to asbestos involved products “manufactured, sold, distributed or installed” by the General Electric Co.  Campbell’s sole period of employment in Illinois was when he worked for Republic Steel in Chicago from 1964 through 1965.

General Electric moved to dismiss the case against it noting that in Campbell’s complaint, he did not specifically allege that he encountered asbestos from GE products while working at Republic Steel. GE argued that Campbell failed to allege sufficient facts to grant the court personal jurisdiction and noted that it did not consent to the court’s jurisdiction.

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Kenneth Smith was a journeyman union carpenter working at a construction site at a new XSport Fitness in Libertyville, Ill., in 2006. The defendant in this lawsuit was RPM, which was a cabinetry contractor involved in the installation of cabinets in the newly constructed building. Smith was employed by Lankford Construction Co., which was one of the subcontractors on this job.

On July 5, 2006, 36-year-old Smith assisted a truck driver in unloading the cabinets from a delivery truck at the job site.

In the process of unloading the cabinets, the truck driver dropped his end of a crescent-shaped cabinet weighing over 300 pounds, which caused Smith to wrench his back while trying to stabilize the cabinet and protect it from being gouged by the wall of the truck.

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