Holding The Line On Construction Liability

October 26, 2016

Patton & Ryan recently scored a huge victory when we obtained summary judgment for a general contractor and subcontractor in a construction liability case where a worker sustained serious and permanent injuries on a construction site. Plaintiff incurred his injuries to his back while attempting to manually move a several hun­dred pound steel elbow at the direction of his employer, another subcontractor on the construction project. At the outset of the case, Patton & Ryan implemented a proactive defense strategy that involved proving that our clients were not in charge of site safety. This included bringing in Plaintiff’s employer on a third-party complaint for contribution.

After diligent preparation of the insureds representatives and conducting depositions of all the key players in the case, Michael G. Vranicar of Patton & Ryan success­fully argued for summary judgment in the Cook County Circuit Court, thereby saving our clients the expense and inconvenience of defending this catastrophic claim at trial. Patton & Ryan won summary judgment by demonstrating that in order to establish liability for job site injuries, Plaintiffs must necessarily prove control of job site safety and function. Through skilled advocacy and preparation, Patton & Ryan proved that Plaintiff’s employer retained full control over all his actions at the time of the accident and thereby defeated Plaintiff’s claim. Patton & Ryan also created a clear record in successful defense of this claim which allowed the First District Appellate Court to affirm the lower court’s ruling of summary judgment.

The Plaintiff has now filed a Petition for Leave to Appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court, arguing for an expansion of Illinois premises liability law on construction sites. Patton & Ryan has answered Plaintiff’s Petition and will continue to aggressively fight expansion of any laws that would increase our clients’ risk of exposure. In doing so, we are drawing a line in the sand over which we will not allow the Plaintiff’s Bar to step. Patton & Ryan is adamant about protecting our clients’ best interest in every phase of litigation with a focus on cur­tailing defense costs.