GWC Partner Joseph P. Sorce has obtained a settlement worth over $1.4 million for a union marble finisher injured at a construction site.
Pallet Jack Speeds Down Ramp
In September 2016, GWC’s client, a union marble finisher who was 29 years old at the time, was working at a construction site in Evanston, IL. He and three co-workers were moving a pallet jack loaded with a 2,000-pound crate of stone down a plywood ramp and into a basement.
The client was in front of the pallet jack, operating the handle while facing upward. There was another co-worker also at the front of the pallet jack, and two co-workers to the rear of it, standing atop the ramp and facing downward. The ramp had been built by the construction company in charge of the project.
The crew then lost control of the pallet jack, and it accelerated down the ramp. In order to avoid being crushed, the client dropped the load, allowing the forks under the pallet jack to fall to the ground. In so doing, he wrenched his back.
Union Marble Finisher Undergoes Back Surgery
The marble finisher suffered significant and persistent lower back pain, diagnosed as L5-S1 spondylolysis with radiculopathy. After an initial course of conservative treatment that included facet and trigger point injections and a physical therapy regimen, he underwent an L5-S1 fusion surgery with instrumentation and L5 nerve root decompression.
Prior to the incident, the client had worked as a marble finisher for eleven years, performing all of the associated tasks without pain or limitation. Because of the injuries he sustained in the accident, he could no longer perform the duties of his trade and was forced to seek new employment.
GWC Refutes Defense Objections
In seeking compensation for the injured marble finisher, GWC filed suit against the construction company in charge of the project, citing its failure to provide a safe working environment for the client and other subcontractors. The validity of the claim was immediately challenged on multiple fronts.
“The Defense disputed medical causation, arguing that our client never fell and was never struck by the pallet jack,” Mr. Sorce explained. “They also claimed that he only suffered a sprain as a result of the work accident and that his overall condition was preexisting.”
Drawing upon the client’s treatment history and testimony from his medical providers, Mr. Sorce was able to refute these objections, demonstrating a direct causal connection between the client’s injuries and this incident.
Mr. Sorce also successfully argued that the Defendant was responsible for the incident because it had built, maintained, and directed the use of a ramp that was insufficient for heavy-duty material movement. Instead, the company had constructed a light-duty pedestrian walkway that was inappropriate for the task at hand, thereby injuring the client.
Based upon the strength of Mr. Sorce’s arguments, the Defense agreed to settle the matter for $750,000.00. Additionally, GWC obtained a waiver of a $678,653.46 workers’ compensation lien – a net gain of $1,428,653.46.
Fighting for Illinois Construction Accident Victims
Construction accidents present some of the greatest challenges in personal injury litigation. They demand comprehensive knowledge both of the applicable law and of the operations of the construction industry. To help overcome these challenges, injured victims in Illinois have been turning to the construction accident attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers LLC for more than four decades.
Since its founding, GWC has proudly represented members of all the major building trades unions, so much so that we have frequently been called “the construction accident law firm.” These unions count on us because they know that we get results. And with over $2 billion recovered in verdicts and settlements, we think these results speak for themselves.
To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a dedicated construction accident attorney, contact GWC today. You may call our office at (312) 464-1234 or click here to chat with a representative at any time.