GWC partner Michael D. Fisher and attorney Lawrence J. Amato have obtained a gross settlement valued at over $2,050,000.00, inclusive of an $806,239.00 waiver of the worker’s compensation lien, for a union marble setter who suffered shoulder, elbow, and neck injuries in a construction incident on a commercial building project.
General Contractor’s Negligence Causes Marble Setter’s Injuries
GWC’s client, a union marble setter, was working for a large Marble and Granite Contractor installing a 5’x8’, 300-pound slab of marble on a wall in what was going to be a building lobby. The Plaintiff and three co-workers were positioned on a single plank of a rolling, tubular steel scaffold, lifting the marble slab from the ground, when the scaffold wheel locks failed, causing the scaffold to move away from the wall, which resulted in the Plaintiff falling six feet to the concrete floor below onto his right arm and head.
GWC filed suit against the General Contractor based on its negligent failure to properly schedule, sequence, and coordinate the work on the project. In particular, it scheduled and coordinated the work of another contractor who framed out a light pocket at the ceiling where the marble slab was being erected. This improper sequencing of the work caused the crew, of which the Plaintiff was the foreman, to utilize an unplanned method of installing the marble slab so that it fit underneath and behind the light pocket, which resulted in the scaffold wheel lock’s ultimate failure.
The Plaintiff’s lawsuit also claimed that the Defendant was negligent in its safety oversight, requiring and permitting the Plaintiff and his crew to use a scaffold that lacked sufficient guardrails.
Plaintiff Sustains Torn Labrum, Elbow Injury, and Herniated Cervical Disc
The Plaintiff suffered injury to his right shoulder and elbow, necessitating right shoulder arthroscopic debridement and labral repair, as well as a right elbow arthroscopy with removal of loose bodies. Additionally, following a subsequent work event six weeks later, the Plaintiff was diagnosed with herniated cervical discs, resulting in a very disputed causally related C5-6-7 anterior disc fusion.
GWC Refutes Defense with Key Testimony from Defendant’s Own Employees
The Defendant refused to accept responsibility, claiming that the Plaintiff’s employer provided an unsuitable, unsafe scaffold and that, as the foreman, the Plaintiff failed to inspect the scaffold and ensure it was safe. Much of the defense related to the issue of its claim that the Plaintiff’s cervical injury was NOT causally related to this incident and was caused by a subsequent lifting incident six weeks after the instant event.
In response, GWC attorneys Fisher and Amato solicited testimony from the Defendant’s own supervisory and safety personnel who admitted that they were in control of job site safety and coordination and sequencing work on the job.
“It was the combination of the Defendant’s failures to properly schedule, sequence, and inspect the work along with its failure to enforce industry safety standards that resulted in our client’s damages,” said GWC partner, Michael D. Fisher.
In addition, GWC presented testimony from the Plaintiff’s treating neurosurgeon, who asserted that the scaffold injury was “a cause” of the Plaintiff’s herniated cervical discs. These evidence-based arguments proved to support the Plaintiff’s claims on liability and damages.
Fighting for Injured Workers in Illinois
Construction injuries require comprehensive knowledge of the operations of the construction industry, federal regulations, and state law if a worker hopes to receive full and fair compensation. To maximize your claim value, whether by settlement or trial, contact the dedicated personal injury and workers’ compensation attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers LLC.
With more than $2 billion recovered in verdicts and settlements, GWC is one of the premier personal injury and workers’ compensation law firms in Illinois. At GWC, our trial lawyers have the experience, determination, resources, and reputation you need to help get you and your family the justice you deserve.