Home owner held accountable for work site injury

Steve Gonzalez Dec. 17, 2004, 7:18am

A construction worker who was injured after falling through an opening of a first floor home under construction, is suing the owner for more than $50,000.

David Hunter of Trenton, who was a sub-contractor fo A&K Construction, claims home owner Harold Thole was negligent because of unsafe working conditions at the construction site. Standing rain water and the lack of a barrier around the opening were responsible for the accident, according to the suit.

The accident happened Dec. 17, 2002, in Highland. Hunter sued two years to the date in Madison County Circuit Court.

As a result of the fall, Hunter claims he has become permanently disabled from injuries to the soft tissue and bone of his right arm and face, including muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves.

According to the suit, Thole failed to provide Hunter with "a safe place to work by failing to warn him about the ground floor opening and/or hazardous condition created by the rainwater, failing to inspect the area, and failed to clear the area of rainwater."

Hunter also alleges that Thole failed to erect a barrier or warning signs around the opening to stop workers from falling into the opening.

Represented by Nathan C. Lanter of the Belleville lawfirm Nelson & Nelson, Hunter claims Thole "controlled" the work being done by his employer in the following ways:

  • Retained the power to direct the order in which work was done;

  • Directed the order in which work was done;

  • Retained the right to stop work for safety reasons;

  • Maintained an office on the job site;

  • Retained the right to inspect workers for safety violations; and

  • Retained the right to grade, improve and otherwise provide adequate ingress and egress roadways for movement of materials, wagons and motorized vehicles.

    Hunter claims that he had to spend money on medical expenses and will also have to spend money in the future, and has experienced pain and suffering and loss of income.

    The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron.

    04 L 1374

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