Bruce Wall and Victoria Shoemaker Win Summary Judgment in a Construction Liability Case
Plaintiff, 37 years old at the time of the accident, alleged negligence against a global corporation both under a theory of construction liability under Section 414 of the Restatement of Torts and under a premises liability theory under Section 343 of the Restatement of Torts, seeking recovery for personal injuries he sustained while working for an independent contractor that performed maintenance operations at the defendant corporation’s site. Plaintiff was assisting in performing a crane-assisted lift of the bowl from a reactor and was inside the reactor when the 3,200 lbs. transfer bowl broke away from the crane during the lift and struck him. Plaintiff claimed he sustained a punctured lung, fractured ribs, teeth, shoulder, hand, knee, neck, back (middle, lower, and coccyx), hips, legs, and ankles injuries as well as traumatic brain injury and complained of significant ongoing pain despite undergoing three orthopedic surgeries as well as chronic migraine and significant post-concussive syndrome. Plaintiff claimed $440,443 in medical expenses and a substantial loss of income claim. Plaintiff made a $9,0000,000 settlement demand. Bruce Wall and Victoria Shoemaker filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that as to the allegations of negligence under contractor liability, all testimony clearly showed that it was the independent contractor that was fully in charge of all the operative details of the work at issue, while the defendant corporation had no such involvement, and as to premises liability, this case did not involve the condition of the land. The motion further argued that under either a theory of construction liability or under a premises liability theory, liability could not attach since the defendant corporation had no actual or constructive notice. After an oral argument, the Honorable Judge Patricia Sheahan of the Circuit Court of Cook County agreed and granted the motion. Plaintiff was represented by a Houston law firm, Arnold and Itkin LLP, and Meyers & Flowers, LLC.
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