Most of us in Chicago probably know that McCormick Place is North America’s largest convention center. In an effort to draw more traffic to McCormick place, Chicago’s mayor and Illinois’ governor brokered changes to work rules. The revision included new pacts between union tradesmen and private contractors that hire the union workers to set up and tear down shows.
During a recent show under the new rules, a worker suffered a serious on-the-job injury when a forklift ran over his foot. Although the worker should be eligible for workers’ compensation, he has also decided to sue for damages in Cook County court.
The accident occurred when the 30-year old was helping direct the removal of massive milling machines from a booth during the International Manufacturing Technology Show. As he was doing so, he was knocked over and his foot was run over by a forklift. It has taken four surgeries to repair his foot, including grafts, and he is still missing most of his heel.
According to the lawsuit, the 30-year-old claims that the new regulations did not permit a spotter, or a three person team, and the short crew led to the accident.
The lawsuit names several parties. The 300 year-old is suing the general contractor that oversaw the setup and teardown of the show, the exposition authority, the private management company hired to run McCormick Place, the trade group that owns the show and the forklift driver.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is conducting an investigation of the accident.