Now that the road construction season is upon us in Chicago and Illinois it is important to remember to drive safely and cautiously when in a construction zone. According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics study, between 1995 and 2002, almost 900 road construction workers died from on the job injuries, with over half of those fatalities resulting from being struck by a vehicle.
However, a recent settlement in a Chicago construction injury case highlights that not only drivers and commuters need to be more careful, but that co-workers also need to practice on the job safety. The case in question involved a 21 year-old construction employee who had been assigned to dig trenches. After completing one trench and preparing to dig a second one, the worker was crushed when a truck driven by a fellow construction worker backed into him.
The decedent’s surviving family members claimed that the driver of the construction truck was negligent and had received inadequate training for the specialized truck he was driving, which was a combination back hoe and end-loader. Furthermore, the family claimed that the construction company was also negligent for the work-related injury because they had not carefully supervised this driver to ensure that he operated the truck in a safe and proper manner.
The defendant, employer of the construction truck operator, claimed that the decedent was negligent in failing to keep a proper lookout for his safety. The decedent was survived by his wife and a two-month old son. The case was settled for $4.5 million after a mediation with a former Cook County Circuit judge.