Anesi & Ozmon issued the following announcement on Aug. 28.
Partner Michael L. Teich secured a $10.03 million settlement in a construction negligence case on behalf of a 32-year old ironworker from Local 393 in Aurora, Ill. Three defendants agreed to pay $9.55 million on August 23, 2019, after five days of trial before the Honorable Judge Ruben Castillo in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The plaintiff’s employer Lakeside Rack Installers (Lakeside) settled shortly before jury selection for an additional $486,000. Anesi Ozmon Partner Steven A. Berman assisted at trial.
The plaintiff filed suit against Duke Realty Services, LLC, Steel King Industries, Inc., and a third defendant for injuries he sustained during the construction of a warehouse distribution center in Aurora, Illinois. He sustained severe and permanent injuries when a large steel rack system collapsed onto him after it was struck by an untrained and uncertified forklift operator.
Steel King was hired to manufacture, deliver, and install the steel rack system in the warehouse, Duke was the general contractor, and the third defendant, for whom the warehouse was being built, had employees onsite to oversee the work. The plaintiff worked for a subcontractor, Lakeside, hired to assist with the installation. The plaintiff contended that in May 2017 the three defendants were pushing the installers to build the racks at a dangerously fast pace, ignoring the standard practice of anchoring the racks to the concrete floor as soon as they were erected. When a forklift operator hit an unanchored rack, it collapsed on top of the plaintiff, causing extensive injuries. The forklift operator later acknowledged he was not properly trained or certified to operate the forklift.
“This project was an example of what happens when corporations value speed over safety. These defendants were entirely focused on meeting an impossible schedule and not at all concerned about the dangerous conditions they created on the job, which they all knew about but chose to ignore,” Teich stated. “By taking these defendants to trial we were able to provide our client and his family with financial security and send a message to these corporations that they cannot put people in danger and get away with it.”
“We are very pleased with the outcome for our friend and client, and the security it brings his young family,” said John M. Popelka, President and Managing Partner of Anesi Ozmon. “Michael and our Anesi team were on trial in federal court within two years of taking on this case, and achieved an excellent settlement before finishing the presentation of our case to the jury. We are proud to continue the Anesi tradition of aggressive and tenacious advocacy for our clients.”
Original source can be found here.