Illinois worker wins $1.75 M settlement in third-party lawsuit

A Batavia, Illinois, worker recently won a $1.75 million settlement in a premises liability lawsuit. The worker was at a rock and tunnel structure in a construction site when a rock fell on him. The worker allegedly suffered severe personal injuries and believed that his injuries were due to the negligent operation of the construction site by a contractor. Specifically, the worker alleged that the contractor negligently managed, operated and controlled the premises.

The construction site operators alleged that the worker was responsible for his own injuries in this construction site accident because of his failure to keep a proper lookout at the jobsite. The operators believed that if the worker had been more aware of his surroundings, he would have seen the loose rocks and debris that would ultimately injure him.

The worker sought a variety of damages in this case including damages for pain and suffering, lost wages and medical expenses for his injuries.

This case was eventually settled out of court and some of the recovery was subject to a workers’ compensation lien. This is an example of a “third-party” case in which an injured worker uses workers’ comp benefits for his medical expenses and then sues a party other than his employer for additional damages. Often awards won in third-party cases are subject to a reduction for the amount of workers’ comp benefits collected by a worker.

Source: Machi v. Fermi Nat’l Accelerator Lab., 2012 WL 1130764 (Ill.Cir.Ct.)