In Construction Accidents Blog

Road Grinder AccidentIn May of 2015, GWC client, a Union Teamster, was working for BS&T Construction Company on a road construction project in Hinsdale, Illinois. The overall general contractor, Kenny Construction Company, subcontracted all road improvement operations to Pirtano Construction Company, who then contracted with Maneval Construction Company to provide an asphalt road grinder and operator to perform road grinding operations. As an integral part of the project, Plaintiff worked as a “ground man” to assist the grinder operator as a “spotter” and to operate certain controls on the grinder from ground level. During the workday, the operator moved the grinder at a time when Plaintiff was shoveling grind spoil off the pavement in very close proximity to the front tracks of the “stopped” grinder, which was in the operator’s blind spot. While he was performing his task, the grinder lurched forward and our client was run over by one of the front tracks of the asphalt grinder, causing horrific injuries that included the traumatic amputation of his right leg below the knee, a crushed pelvis requiring fixation, urinary incontinence, sexual dysfunction and other related conditions. His wife also filed a loss of consortium claim for the substantial losses she suffered from.

While the grinder and general contractor defendants have voluntarily settled their liability, in its public court filings, Pirtano has continued to deny that it did anything to cause or contribute to the harm to our clients and further denied having any financial responsibility as a contributing tortfeasor whatsoever for the harm suffered by this injured worker. The defenses filed in this case by Pirtano have also claimed that our union-worker plaintiff was a direct employee of Pirtano (a non-union company), or, alternatively, that while he clearly was paid by a separate corporate employer that was a union company he allegedly was “loaned to” the non-union company, unbeknownst to him. GWC and the Plaintiffs have strenuously rejected these defenses at every stage of the proceedings and will do so through trial.

After a hard-fought battle with multiple defendants who all denied liability at the beginning stages of the case, GWC has obtained a settlement with the grinder contractor for its entire $6 million insurance policy. This settlement was later approved and allocated by the Court to be paid 52% to the injured worker and 48% to his wife based on her serious and permanent loss of consortium damages. After the Court’s approval and allocation of the $6 million dollar settlement, we obtained for our clients an additional $1 million from the general contractor, leaving Pirtano Construction Company as the only remaining defendant going to trial.

Our trial team is very pleased that we have been able to secure $7 million in settlement proceeds before the trial against the sole remaining defendant, Pirtano Construction.

Please contact Louis C. Cairo or Michael D. Fisher for any questions related to this release. 312-464-1230