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Contractor failed to supervise crane operation, suit alleged

Amount:

$13,000,000

Type:

Settlement

State:

Illinois

Venue:

Cook County

Court:

Cook County Circuit Court

Injury Type(s):

arm-fracture (fracture, ulna); arm-fracture (fracture, radius); head-fracture, skull; other-laceration; other-loss of consortium; wrist-fracture, wrist; pelvis-fracture, pelvis; amputation-finger; arterial/vascular-artery; surgeries/treatment-skin graft; surgeries/treatment-debridement; surgeries/treatment-open reduction; surgeries/treatment-internal fixation

Case Type:

Workplace - Workplace Safety; Construction - Falling Object; Worker/Workplace Negligence - Negligent Supervision

Case Name:

Adan Carriedo and Yolanda Carriedo v. Leopardo Companies, Inc. / Leopardo Companies, Inc. v. Concrete Structures of the Midwest, No. 08-L-011577

Date:

October 4, 2013

Parties

Plaintiff(s):

Adan Carriedo (Male, 39 Years), 

Yolanda Carriedo (Female)

Plaintiff Attorney(s):

Daniel V. O'Connor; O'Connor & Nakos, Ltd.; Chicago, IL, for Adan Carriedo, Yolanda Carriedo ■ D. Jeffrey Comeau; O'Connor & Nakos, Ltd.; Chicago, IL, for Adan Carriedo, Yolanda Carriedo

Plaintiff Expert(s):

Mark Morasch; M.D.; Surgery; Chicago, IL called by Daniel V. O'Connor, D. Jeffrey Comeau ■ Stacy McCarty; M.D.; Physical Medicine; Willowbrook, IL called by Daniel V. O'Connor, D. Jeffrey Comeau ■ Yuemi An-Grogan; M.D.; Emergency Medicine; Chicago, IL called by Daniel V. O'Connor, D. Jeffrey Comeau ■ Dennis Puchalski; Construction Safety; Elmhurst, IL called by Daniel V. O'Connor, D. Jeffrey Comeau ■ Robert Brannigan; M.D.; Urology; Chicago, IL called by Daniel V. O'Connor, D. Jeffrey Comeau ■ Bradley Merk; M.D.; Orthopedic Surgery; Chicago, IL called by Daniel V. O'Connor, D. Jeffrey Comeau ■ Gregory Dumanian; M.D.; Plastic Surgery/Reconstructive Surgery; Chicago, IL called by Daniel V. O'Connor, D. Jeffrey Comeau

Defendant(s):

Leopardo Companies Inc., 

Mid-American Elevator Co., 

Central Contractors Services, 

Concrete Structures of the Midwest

Defense Attorney(s):

Jeffrey H. Lipe; Lipe Lyons Murphy Nahrstadt & Pontikis Ltd.; Chicago, IL, for Leopardo Companies Inc. ■ John A. Ouska III; Patton & Ryan LLC; Chicago, IL, for Concrete Structures of the Midwest ■ None reported; for Mid-American Elevator Co., Central Contractors Services ■ David R. McDowell; Roddy, Leahy, Guill & Zima; Chicago, IL, for Concrete Structures of the Midwest ■ James H. Whalen; Lipe Lyons Murphy Nahrstadt & Pontikis Ltd.; Chicago, IL, for Leopardo Companies Inc.

Defendant Expert(s):

Robert Baade; Economics; Chicago, IL called by Jeffrey H. Lipe, James H. Whalen ■ Robert Emmerich; Construction Safety; Madison, WI called by Jeffrey H. Lipe, James H. Whalen

Insurer(s):

Zurich for Leopardo Companies Inc. and Concrete Structures of the Midwest ($1 million policy each) AIG for Leopardo Companies Inc. and Concrete Structures of the Midwest ($10 million policy) Cincinnati Insurance Co. for Leopardo Companies Inc. ($1 million policy)

Facts:

On Oct. 20, 2006, plaintiff Adan Carriedo, 39, a laborer, was working on a project building the Vision On State Condominium, a residential building on State Street, in Chicago. Carriedo was an employee of Concrete Structures of the Midwest, which was subcontracted by Leopardo Companies Inc. to work on the building. Carriedo was asked to load materials onto a crane, which was lifting concrete forms. The crane lifted two loads of the concrete form, which were stacked one on top of the other. When the top load was 25 feet into the air, material from the load fell off of the crane, striking Carriedo. He sustained injuries to his head and stomach, as well as other injuries. Carriedo sued Leopardo Industries, the general contractor for the construction project. Also named as defendants in the action were Central Contractors Services and Mid-American Elevator Co., which were dismissed early in the action. Leopardo Industries impleaded Concrete Structures of the Midwest as a third-party defendant. Yolanda Carriedo, Adan Carriedo's wife, filed a derivative claim for loss of consortium. Carriedo contended that Leopardo Industries did not properly supervise the work done at the site, particularly in its allowing the crane to carry the multiple loads of materials one on top of the other, as opposed to side by side. He contended that the job site was an unsafe work condition, which resulted in his sustaining injuries. According to the plaintiff's construction safety expert, who did not testify in the trial, Leopardo did not properly supervise the work site, nor was the load safely placed on the lift. Defense counsel contended that the way the multiple-load-lift pickup was performed was acceptable, and while it was preferable for the loads to be side by side, the over/under way was also an acceptable way to perform the lift. Leopardo also alleged that Carriedo was negligent in failing to set the load up improperly. According to Leopardo, the lifts were the responsibility of Concrete Structures, as it was its job to perform the lifting task. Therefore, according to Leopardo, Concrete Structures was the responsible party for any negligence in the incident.

Injury:

Following the accident, Carriedo was transported by ambulance to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. He was admitted until Jan. 9, 2007, when he was transferred to RML Specialty Hospital for further treatment. At Northwestern, Carriedo was diagnosed as having sustained lacerations of the stomach and iliac artery; pelvic and skull fractures; a severance of the middle finger of his left hand, his non-dominant hand; and a radial/ulnar fracture of his left wrist. A pelvic repair surgery was performed, as well as skin grafts for his stomach laceration, an open reduction/internal fixation procedure for his left wrist, and a debridement for his left wrist. He also received an open reduction/internal fixation procedure for his injured finger, but when the injury failed to heal, his finger was amputated. Carriedo's stomach wound required multiple months of treatment to close. Carriedo did not return to his job as a laborer following the incident. According to his counsel, because of Carriedo's lack of fluency in English, as well as his education, he was essentially unable to find employment as a result of his injuries. Carriedo's counsel sought a recovery for his medical expenses of $2,370,215.40, as well as for past lost wages of $354,859.84 and future lost wages of approximately $1.1 million to $1.6 million. Defense counsel disputed the amount sought for lost wages, alleging that Carriedo failed to properly mitigate his damages. In their opening statement, they argued that Carriedo could get a new job after sustaining the injuries. They argued that Carriedo failed to offset his damages.

Result:

After four days of trial, the parties agreed to a settlement of $13 million, the full amount of the insurance policies for both Leopardo and Concrete Structures. Yolanda Carriedo's derivative claim was also paid as part of the settlement.

Trial Information:

Judge:

Elizabeth M. Budzinski

Editor's Comment:

This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiffs' counsel. Defense counsel for Leopardo Companies and Concrete Structures did not respond to the reporter's phone calls.