Could this construction accident have been avoided if the worker had known the plywood covered a 10 foot hole in the ground?

Our client, a 38 year old ironworker from Pittsburgh, had worked his entire adult life as an overhead garage door installer. He had worked several years for a company specializing in the installation of massive industrial garage doors in commercial buildings.

Our client and three co-workers were assigned a project working on construction of a new shopping mall on the south side of Chicago. Their responsibility was to install a 40 foot long, 5 ton, rolled overhead security door into the front of a newly constructed Target Store. The construction accident occurred on their first day on the project. The site had construction debris- bricks, boards, garbage- scattered all around, which had to be cleared so a tractor-trailer could bring the garage door to the front of the store. No one told our client that one of the pieces of plywood lying in the middle of the parking lot in front of the store was covering a 10’ deep hole that had been cut into the pavement for an underground tank. The construction project manager and sub-contractors had known of this. When our client attempted to remove the long and heavy piece of plywood, he fell into the hole, landing on a steel I-beam. He suffered a serious back injury that required a laminectomy and fusion surgery, and was disabled from returning to work as an ironworker.

The Chicago construction accident attorneys at Peter Higgins Law filed suit against three of the construction companies that were working on the jobsite. We obtained the project contracts, plans and specifications, jobsite photos and deposed most of the workers and supervisors on the job. Our personal injury lawyers demonstrated that the defendants failed to comply with OSHA standards requiring there to be a clear marking on the plywood indicating a hole was below, or surrounding it with barricades and caution tape.

Successful Resolution: $1,500,000

As the construction accident case unfolded we were able to get the Defendants to start blaming each other for negligently leaving the hole unprotected. The case ended settling at a mediation conference for almost $1.5 million.

Have you suffered from a construction accident? Our team of Chicago construction accident lawyers is here to answer your questions and to help you get the compensation you deserve.