An Indiana laborer was awarded $1.25 million in settlement proceeds and a waiver of an $800,000 workers’ compensation lien last month. While working for a concrete forming contractor on the construction of a several-story arts center on the campus of University of Iowa in Iowa City in August 2014, the worker was injured when a 4’ x 8’ sheet of plywood fell approximately 18 feet striking him in the shoulder.
The worker was taken to a work clinic where he was examined and put into a shoulder immobilizer. Attempts at rehabilitation failed and he went on to undergo two labral debridement and subacromial decompression surgeries. As a result of his injuries, he was never able to rehabilitate the shoulder, was put on permanent lifting restrictions and disabled from returning to his prior occupation.
Due to conditions at the job site, the general contractor had permitted the Plaintiff’s company to utilize a method of stripping concrete forms referred to as “drop stripping.” During that process, rather than systematically removing the shoring and the forming plywood, the shoring was removed, and the entire platform of decking material was allowed to violently collapse to the ground level where it was then retrieved and reused. The procedure has been widely discredited in the construction industry, but for the sake of expediency, it was used on the job site in question. The Plaintiff argued that such actions violated the general contractor's duty to maintain a safe worksite and resulted from their failure to enforce adequate safety regulations on the job.
The 45-year-old Plaintiff rehabilitated himself and is currently working as a low-level manager at a home improvement center. The case settled with a trial approaching on August 10, 2021, and lead trial counsel, James J. Morici, Jr., and senior trial counsel, Andrew J. Mazzuca, negotiated the settlement approximately one week prior. Due to the laws of the local jurisdiction, the Plaintiff had no control over the worker’s compensation lien and a jury would have had to yield a verdict in excess of $2.5 million in order to equal the benefits to the Plaintiff under the settlement.
This is one in a long line of serious career ending construction site injuries in which Morici, Longo & Associates has been able to obtain full and fair compensation for our clients. We continue to represent ironworkers, pipefitters, laborers, bricklayers, plumbers, electricians and other trades in our practice which is heavily concentrated in the representation of injured construction workers.
If you have been injured in a construction accident, call our firm at (312) 779-0366 or complete our online contact form today and schedule a free case review. We have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients in Chicago and throughout the country.