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Knell O’Connor Danielewicz LIABILITY Trial Result


Case Name:  Royce Braden v. Cerro Copper Products Co., Van Pak Corp., Walters Metal Fabrication, Inc. and Van Pak Corp. v. J.F. Electric, Inc.

Venue:  St. Clair County

Plaintiff’s Attorney:  Gregory L. Shevlin

Defendant’s Attorney:  John J. O’Connor

SUMMARY:  Cerro Copper retained Van Pak Corp. to install two conveyors in its plaint in Sauget, IL.  Van Pak subcontracted with Walters Metal to erect the conveyors and J.F. Electric to wire them.   Plaintiff was J.F. Electric’s project manager.  On July 7, 1997, he climbed onto a completed conveyor and then stepped 45 inches out onto a conveyor under construction, causing it to collapse.  Plaintiff fell six feet and suffered a massive tear of his rotator cuff requiring surgery ($17,355 in medical and $12,400 in lost wages (2 months)).  Plaintiff argued the conveyor under construction should have been barricaded or flagged.  Defense argued there was no need to barricade or flag the conveyor since the only persons present were the workers erecting it.  Defense also contended plaintiff was responsible for safety on the job and that it should have been obvious to plaintiff that the conveyor was under construction and unsafe.

LAST DEMAND:  $75,000

LAST OFFER:  $10,000

ASKED OF JURY:  $300,000

VERDICT:  Not guilty