The Chicago law firm of Corboy & Demetrio has secured a settlement of $3.2 million in a wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of the family of an electrocuted worker. Commonwealth Edison was a defendant in the case.
Corboy & Demetrio Lawyer Edward G. Willer
Online PR News – 27-September-2013 –Corboy & Demetrio has secured a settlement of $3.2 million on behalf of the Estate of Javier Valadez, a painter who was electrocuted from contact with overhead distribution lines while working on a painting project under the U.S. 20 Bridge at the Fox River in Elgin, Illinois.
On June 11, 2008, Valadez, 31, was riding in an aerial lift bucket to sandblast the underside of the bridge when his operator, John Maroulis, contacted high voltage wires. Corboy & Demetrio attorney Edward G. Willer represented the Estate.
The wrongful death lawsuit was filed by Leonor Valadez, as administrator of her husband’s estate, alleging negligence by Commonwealth Edison in not making the electrical lines safe by either de-energizing or sleeving them. Hertz Equipment Rental Company was sued as the lessor of the lift as it failed to familiarize the lift users with safety devices as required by American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The defendants claimed the lines were open and obvious and that the crew had a last-minute warning to stay clear of the lines from Valadez’s employer, Eagle Painting & Maintenance Co., minutes before being electrocuted.
In early June, Eagle Paint employees telephoned the customer service representatives of Commonwealth Edison and had asked them repeatedly to make the overhead distribution lines safe. In early communications with an employee, Edison claimed that it did not have an order for the “make safe” request and did not know where the lines were. And at one other time, an Edison customer service representative indicated that Eagle Paint’s order had been “fulfilled.”
“Contrary to this statement, depositions of at least six customer service representatives revealed that no two of them knew the stringent Commonwealth Edison procedures on how to process a ‘work made safe’ request,” Willer said. “Significantly, two days prior to the occurrence, one of Edison’s safety personnel was at this job site and saw the Eagle Paint lift basket,” Willer added.
According to two other Edison workers on site at that time, the “light went on” in the Edison safety director’s mind, meaning that he now realized where Eagle Paint wanted to do its work, stated Willer, who also said that evidence showed that notwithstanding this knowledge, Edison failed to directly contact Eagle Paint and tell them not to work there as the lines were still energized.
Eagle Paint, Valadez’ employer, was sued as a third-party defendant. Its acting foreman on site testified that the two men in the basket were warned within minutes to stay away from the overhead lines. In addition to his spouse, Mr. Valdez left behind two children, now 12 and 9. The case was mediated and resolved before mediator Stuart A. Nudelman of ADR on Aug. 9, 2013.
Case#08L7199, Leonor Valadez v. Commonwealth Edison Company and Hertz Equip. Rental Corp., Cook Co. Circuit Court, Law Division. A dismissal order was entered by Judge William E. Gomolinski on Sept. 23, 2013.
About Corboy & Demetrio
Corboy & Demetrio is one of the nation’s premier law firms. The personal injury law firm represents individuals and their families in serious personal injury and wrongful death cases and is renowned for its achievements in the courtroom and for its contributions to the community. The rights and concerns of its clients are at the core of Corboy & Demetrio’s practice. That commitment, dedication, compassion and relentless drive has resulted in exceptional service and exceptional results for its clients. The Chicago law firm has acquired more than $3 billion in settlements and verdicts and has attained almost 600 settlements and verdicts in excess of $1 million. To contact Ed Willer or another Chicago lawyer at our firm, call 312-346-3191 or toll free at 800-356-3191. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information about our law firm go to corboydemetrio.com.