$20 Million Settlement in Failure to Ensure Safe Workplace in Elevator Death Case

Lennox Hinckson, 65, was working as an elevator maintenance and repair person for Alimak Elevator Co.  He was scheduled to perform standby services at the Holcim cement plant while senior executives toured the plant.

On the second day of Hinckson’s standby service, a Holcim employee allegedly asked Hinckson to repair the preheater towers’ outside elevator, which was landing short of the fourth floor of the tower.

Hinckson began to adjust the limit switch on top of the elevator cab. Unexpectedly, a Holcim employee called the elevator from a lower floor, which caused the elevator to descend.

Hinckson suffered catastrophic crush injuries and fell approximately 60 feet to his death. He was survived by his four adult children and two minor grandchildren.

Hinckson’s survivors sued Holcim (U.S.) Inc., alleging it chose not to ensure a safe workplace. The Hinckson estate asserted that Holcim’s personnel did not abide by their typical third-party contractor safety policies and procedures the morning of Hinckson’s death. It was also claimed that Holcim failed to post warning signs regarding the elevator repair work. The lawsuit did not claim lost income.

The defendant argued that Hinckson had not restricted power to the elevator, which would have prevented the elevator from being called from a lower floor. Before trial, the parties settled for $20 million.

The attorneys successfully handling this case for the Hinckson family were David Yarborough, Perry Buckner, Greg DeLuca and David Williams.

In the discovery phase, the Hinckson family attorneys presented experts in mine safety, pathology, human factors, economics and accident reconstruction.

Antoine v. Holcim (U.S.), Inc., No. 2020-CP-38-000265 (S.C. Ct. Com. Pl. Orangeburg County).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling wrongful death lawsuits, elevator accident cases, catastrophic injury lawsuits, truck accident lawsuits, bicycle accident cases, and car crash lawsuits for individuals, families and loved ones who have been injured, harmed or killed by the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 45 years in and around Chicago, Cook County, and its surrounding areas, including Maywood, Bellwood, Hillside, Carol Stream, Rolling Meadows, Palatine, Palos Hills, South Barrington, Barrington Hills, Long Grove, Glenview, Lincolnwood, Chicago (Lakeview, Horner Park, Old Irving Park, Budlong Woods, Albany Park, Rogers Park, Uptown, Buena Park, River North, Pulaski Park, East Village, Ukrainian Village, South Austin), Oak Park, Park Forest, Forest Park and Crestwood, Ill.

Robert D. Kreisman has been an active member of the Illinois and Missouri bars since 1976.

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