Chicago Carpenter Injured In Fall At Construction Site Receives 1.47 Million Verdict – Conwell v. James McHugh Construction

A 51 year-old union carpenter fell from a ladder at the construction site at 1111 S. State Street in Chicago on May 12, 2004, severely injuring his head and neck as a result of the Chicago construction site accident. The plaintiff, James Conwell was carrying a doorway header beam on a ladder that gave way. Although Mr. Conwell weighed about 220 pounds, the ladder was designed to safely hold a capacity of up to 225 pounds. The weight of the beam Conwell was carrying was about 100 pounds.

The fall at the Chicago construction site caused the beam to strike the back of the plaintiff’s head and neck, causing a seven-inch gash below his right ear. The gash opened his jugular vein. After extensive surgery to repair the laceration, plaintiff continued to experience aura migraines, neck pain, tinnitus or ringing in his ears, severe hypersensitivity to sounds and cognitive deficits.

The ensuing personal injury lawsuit ended in a jury trial which resulted in a verdict of $1.47 million in favor of the plaintiff, Mr. Conwell. Mr. Conwell work at the site for Kole Construction, a carpentry subcontractor. The defendant in the case was the general contractor, McHugh Construction Co.

The defense argued at the trial the Chicago construction site accident was caused solely by plaintiff and his employer because Kole bore the sole responsibility for the safety of its employees. In addition it was shown at trial that Kole brought to the work site all of the equipment used by its employees, including Mr. Conwell. McHugh contented at trial that since it was Conwell’s first day on the job, it had no opportunity to inspect the use of the ladder, its capacity and how it was being used.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Chicago construction site accidents for over 30 years, serving those areas in and around Cook County, including Chicago Heights, Orland Park, Wheaton, and Evanston.

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