Joseph A. Power Jr. and Thomas Power Settle $3.7M Suit for Injured Construction Worker

Posted By Power Rogers & Smith || Sep 16, 2015

Personal injury attorneys Joseph A. Power Jr. and Thomas M. Power have settled a lawsuit for $3.7 million dollars on behalf of an injured Tennessee construction worker, who lost his leg during a shaft accident. The settlement took place July 29, a night before both parties were to deliver final arguments.

Kerry Douglas, 50, was employed by Atkinson Construction Co. In 2005, he and his co-workers were building an underground shaft in Northerly Island, in order for water to flow from McCormick Place into Lake Michigan. The shaft needed to be built from the bottom up, which necessitated pouring concrete around the shaft and into forms from a moveable work deck above. Once a level of concrete hardened, the forms were removed, the work deck was raised 30 inches, and the forms were repositioned above the recently-hardened concrete so that the next level of concrete could be poured. The plaintiff maintained that the ladder connecting the moveable work deck and the shaft was not accessible once the work deck was raised the 30 inches.

Atkinson bought the work deck and the shaft form from S.A. Healy Co., who sold refurbished materials. The materials Atkinson received had previously been used on another project in 2002. Because of the low-grade nature of the steel utilized in the fasteners, which connected chains to the work deck, the fasteners broke, causing the moveable work deck to swing out of place and crush Douglas’ leg in the aftermath. Doctors tried to perform surgery to save the leg. Because of forming blood clots, however, an above-the-knee amputation had to be performed. Since the accident, Douglas has not been able to gain employment.

In 2007, Douglas filed a strict-liability and loss of consortium lawsuit against S.A. Healy Co., Everest Equipment Co., and De Canio Builders Supplies. Everest Equipment Co. settled the suit for $1 million and De Canio settled for $100,000. Healy was the only one to go to trial.

According to Douglas, Healy contributed to the flawed work deck design and did not offer suitable safety instructions. The Plaintiff alleged that workers did not have a safe way to exit the deck. The trial went on for almost three-weeks, with Joseph A. Power Jr. and Thomas M. Power representing Douglas. The evening before closing arguments were set to proceed, Healy agreed to settle the case for $3.7 million.

Atkinson also agreed to renounce the worker’s compensation fees of $1,066,460 and will pay Douglas $240,000.

At Power Rogers & Smith, we are dedicated to ensuring justice for all our clients. We do not believe you should have to suffer for other people’s negligence. If you or a loved one was involved in an accident, contact our Chicago personal injury attorneys today. We can review your case for free.

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