A lineman working for an electrical contractor identified in this confidential settlement and lawsuit as Mr. Doe was hired to install a new electrical switch and cross arm at the top of a wooden utility pole. Mr. Doe climbed the pole and then strapped his work-positioning belt around himself and the pole. While Mr. Doe was adjusting his position, the belt came up over the top of the pole causing him to disconnect from it. Mr. Doe fell 60 feet to the ground and suffered catastrophic injuries.
Doe, 28, sustained a severe traumatic brain injury affecting his brain stem, spinal fractures resulting in incomplete quadriplegia and other orthopedic injuries.
Mr. Doe now has memory loss and other cognitive problems, including speech and vision deficits, lost sense of smell, severe headaches, spasticity in all four limbs and neurogenic bladder and bowel issues.
He is unable to stand or walk on his own and requires a wheelchair. In addition, he cannot use his left hand or arm and has very limited use of his right hand and arm with minimal dexterity in his fingers.
Mr. Doe will require 24-hour-a-day care for the rest of his life. His past medical expenses totaled $2.44 million and his future life care plan estimated costs at $10.61 million.
Mr. Doe sued Roe, the general contractor, maintaining that Roe had importantly retained control of the project and the safety of it. Mr. Doe contended that Roe put him in a position in which he had no other option but to climb a 60-foot pole without any fall protection devices.
In addition to past and future medical expenses, Doe sought the recovery of $4.97 million in past and future lost earnings. Mr. Doe was also seeking noneconomic damages for pain and suffering and loss of normal life.
Roe argued that Mr. Doe’s employer was principally responsible for providing a safe work environment, including safety training and safety equipment. The Roe defense also contended that Doe was negligent in strapping his belt above the pole’s cross arm, a practice linemen are generally trained to avoid.
Before the start of the jury trial, the parties settled for $12,270,000.
The attorneys successfully representing Mr. Doe were Craig M. Peters and Kimberly Wong.
Doe v. Roe, Confidential Court and Docket.
Kreisman Law Offices has been handling work site injury lawsuits, construction worker injuries, catastrophic injury lawsuits, traumatic brain injury lawsuits, ladder accident cases and truck accident cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Western Springs, LaGrange, Hillside, Westchester, Barrington, Itasca, Chicago (Garfield Park, Hermosa, Jefferson Park, Edgewater, Sauganash, Mayfair, Albany Park), Lincolnwood and Deerfield, Ill.
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