Village Inspector Tears Rotator Cuff at Construction Site; $272,000 Cook County Jury Verdict

On June 11, 2008, Louis Fortino slipped and fell on wet concrete slurry while doing a village inspection of a construction site in LaGrange Park, Ill. Voightmann Services Inc. was the general contractor for the construction project. 

Mr. Fortino was 64 years old and sustained a severe rotator cuff injury with complete separation of cuff tendons from their connection to the bone, which required surgery to reattach the tendons, using anchors and hardware. The surgery was followed by nine months of physical therapy and work-hardening. Mr. Fortino missed three months as a part-time building inspector and has retired.

At trial, he contended that Voightmann chose not to clean the wet concrete slurry that had been left on the street. The defendant contended that the slurry was left by concrete trucks the day before when it may have been obscured by water.  Voightmann also argued to the jury that Mr. Fortino should have seen the wet concrete area and avoided it. 

The jury returned a verdict of $432,718 in favor of Fortino, but reduced by 37 percent for the contributory fault of Mr. Fortino.  That reduction left a jury verdict of $272,612 made up of the following damages:

  • $86,447 for medical expenses;
  • $126,000 for past pain and suffering;
  • $51,975 for past loss of normal life;
  • $3,150 for future loss of normal life; and
  • $5,040 for lost earnings. 

The attorney for Mr. Fortino was Michael D. Johnson.  The demand before trial was $430,000.  The jury was asked to return a verdict of $895,000.  Reportedly, the defendant offered  $200,000 to settle before trial.


Louis M. Fortino v. Voightmann Services, Inc., No. 09 L 1472 (Cook County, Illinois).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling work injury cases, construction site injuries and automobile accidents for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 37 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Lake Bluff, Waukegan, Gurnee, River Forest, Oak Park, Oak Forest, Chicago (Albany Park, Hegewisch, Pill Hill) and Homewood, Ill.

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