$1.275M Settlement for Slip and Fall Back Injury

$1,275,000 for 58 year old elevator mechanic with back injury from slip and fall on rooftop of Chicago high rise.  

Scott A. Blumenshine of The Law Offices of Meyer & Blumenshine with assistance from partner Corey E. Meyer obtained a $1,275,000 settlement on behalf of our client, a 58 year old elevator mechanic.

Our client slipped and fell on the ice and snow covered roof of the defendants high rise building. As a result of the fall, our client sustained a serious back injury. He was diagnosed with herniated lumbar discs. His treatment included pain medication, chiropractic therapy, physical therapy, a microdiscectomy and a lumbar spine fusion.

The defendants argued that the fall was a result of the natural accumulation of ice and snow, and that the plaintiff was contributorily negligent.

The facts establishing defendants liability included a contract signed by the defendants with the plaintiff’s elevator maintenance company that required the building to provide a “safe workplace” for the elevator mechanics. The defendants had a plastic like membrane on the rooftop that was known to be slippery and did not warn the plaintiff of the slippery surface. Also, the manufacturer of the rooftop membrane, Sarnafil, warned building owners to install safe walkway surfaces including slip resistant treads and handrails.

We retained two expert witness to testify on their conclusions that the defendants had violated multiple safety rules. One expert, an engineer, testified that the building violated OSHA, the federal law that requires safe work walkways. He also testified that the slope on the roof, the presence of the slippery surface, and the failure to have safety measures in place caused the accumulation of ice and snow to be unnatural.

Another expert, an architect, testified that the municipal code and international building codes required building owners to provide safe work walkway surfaces. He also testified that national standards, including roofing contractor standards, required building owners to make accommodations for known walkway hazards, even those on roofs.

The case was set for trial in April 2015. The only offer from the insurance company prior to settlement was $100,000.  The settlement was reached after a 9 hour mediation session. 

Scott Blumenshine can be contacted at sbshine@mbpersonalinjurylaw.com.