Edgar Gonzalez was a construction worker employed by a commercial contractor. While working at a project commissioned by the city of Los Angeles, he was erecting a wall-forming system used to support poured concrete. Gonzalez, 30, climbed to the top of a 30-foot form panel; the panel gave way. He fell to the ground where he suffered fatal injuries. Gonzalez was survived by his wife and two minor children.
The Gonzalez family sued Atlas Construction Supply Inc., the designer of the wall- forming system and the supplier of its component parts. The lawsuit claimed that the system had been defective. The defendant Atlas Construction denied responsibility and maintained that Gonzalez’s injuries and death resulted from the negligence of the general contractor, the city of Los Angeles, and the crane operator who placed the wall form panel in that location.
The jury entered a verdict for $27 million apportioning liability at 55% to Atlas and 45% to the general contractor.