Local 1 IronWorker Recovers After Slipping On A Beam ($2.2 Million)

A local 1 IronWorker recovered $2.2 million after falling from a beam on an elevated CTA line.

The Case

The case was prosecuted for four years and settled just short of trial.

In-Depth Look

The local 1 IronWorker was working at an elevated CTA Brown Line station. While working on a repair for the CTA station, painters began applying wet paint to the iron beams that the IronWorkers would ultimately have to walk on.

The IronWorker was mag drilling holes – a process used to cut and make drill holes in ferrous/nonferrous metals – when a painter began applying paint with a roller to the top flange of a beam that connected to the sole access point for entering and exiting the job site. The painter was told to discontinue painting by the ironworker; however, the painter continued to roll the paint on the beam.

“The IronWorkers had not been informed of the presence of the painters and the general contractor, McHugh, scheduled and permitted the painting subcontractor responsible for the laying of the paint on these beams,” stated Clifford Horwitz, the lead trial attorney for the injured local 1 IronWorker.

The IronWorker needed to cross the painted iron in order to get to the scaffold. This would allow him to get down to the ground, but in the process of maneuvering to the scaffolding, the IronWorker slipped on the wet painted beam and fell on conduit. The fall immediately caused a sharp pain in his back.

“These beams were the only access point to the sole stairways needed to get up and down to the job-site. The painters should not have been painting on a beam that was in use by other workers, and necessary for those workers to enter and exit the work zone,” stated Clifford Horwitz.

As result, the IronWorker suffered a bulging disc and annular tears of the L3-4, L4-5, and L5-S1.   The insurance carrier for the general contractor argued that the painters were not painting on the day in question and that it was the Ironworker’s fault for failing to watch where he was going.