Workers Comp Lawyer
$500,000 Workers Compensation for Union Carpenter Crane Operator Negligence
Libertyville attorney Douglas Rallo has reached a $500,000 settlement of a lawsuit stemming from an injury at the Nature’s Cove subdivision in Round Lake. Claimant, a 23 year old union carpenter with local 839, was standing on the top of an interior wall while laying out for trusses in a townhouse under construction.
Defendant, Siegles’ crane operator was flying bundles of plywood into the second floor unit where claimant was working. The crane’s left outrigger sank into the ground, causing the front of the crane to lift off the ground. The bundle of plywood could not be controlled by the crane operator and it struck claimant in the back as he was attempting to get out of the way. Claimant alleged that in the day or two prior to the accident, Siegles’ other employees had told their dispatcher that the ground at the construction site was soft and muddy, and that Siegles’ failed to advise its crane operator of the site conditions so that he could take sufficient precautions to place and stabilize the crane. Claimant also alleged that the crane operator negligently inspected the ground conditions, carelessly placed the crane on soft terrain, improperly used scrap lumber underneath the stabilizer pads and otherwise failed to properly stabilize the crane.
The defense claimed that the ground conditions appeared solid, and that the crane operator used proper support for the outriggers. Siegles’ also claimed that claimant’s employer improperly allowed claimant to work on the top of the walls without fall protection at the same time that bundles of plywood were being flown into the location where he was working.
Claimant sustained a herniated L4-L5 disc and underwent a lumbar micro-discectomy to repair the injury. He was released to return to work to full duty carpentry with no restrictions six months later. In the two months before this occurrence, claimant had low back pain from degenerative disc disease. He had nineteen chiropractic visits; the last one being a week before the work accident. After returning to work, claimant developed recurrent herniated disc at L4-L5, and had spinal fusion surgery 5-1/3 years after the first procedure.
The defendant argued that the second surgery was caused by progression of the pre-existing condition; not the work accident. “In addition to the $500,000 lawsuit settlement, we obtained nearly $250,000 in workers compensation benefits for our client, making the value of the case approximately $750,000”, said Rallo.