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$2.5 Million Dollar Settlement Reached in Construction Negligence Lawsuit

September 9, 2016

Personal injury law firms, Romanucci & Blandin, LLC and the Law Office of Sean C. Burke announced the $2.5-million-dollar settlement of a construction negligence lawsuit today on behalf of their client, Brian delaTorre, who suffered a severe, life-altering knee injury while working on a commercial construction project in 2008. This is the second catastrophic work-injury lawsuit that Stephan Blandin and Sean Burke have prosecuted together resulting in a multi-million dollar settlement at or shortly before trial.

A certified elevator mechanic, delaTorre was working to install two elevators at the Village Commons commercial construction project in downtown Lake Bluff when on the morning of April 22, 2008, the project manager for the general contractor, DJW Ridgeway Building Consultants, Inc., ordered a change in the order of the work. The project’s bricklayers were moving their work to the front of the building which was the elevator mechanics’ only access to the space. The project manager ordered delaTorre and his fellow elevator mechanic to stop work and transport all their necessary elevator materials through the front of the building while the bricklayers were also operating an eight-foot wide and 22,000-pound lull through in the same area.

“The project manager’s order put the elevator mechanics at risk by causing them to face multiple safety hazards at the same time,” noted plaintiff’s attorney, Stephan Blandin, principal and partner at Romanucci & Blandin, LLC. “As delaTorre carried a 20-foot long, 100-pound hydraulic pipe on his shoulder, he was forced to watch out for the driver helping him unload equipment from the delivery truck, his fellow elevator mechanic also hauling equipment, the lull driving nearby and the ruts that the lull was digging into the ground.”

With his attention divided, delaTorre stepped into the upward edge of one of the ruts, twisted his leg and tore the meniscus in his left knee. Mr. delaTorre underwent surgery to repair the meniscus and afterwards, developed complex regional pain syndrome in the leg –which he continues to receive treatment for to this day.

Upon filing the construction negligence lawsuit, the trial court originally granted summary judgment in favor of the defense ruling that the general contractor was not responsible for ruts in the ground, which were an open and obvious condition. Thanks to the work of appellate attorney Michael Rathsack, the Second District Appellate Court reversed the order for summary judgment and the parties were able to reach a $2.545-million-dollar settlement before trial. DJW Ridgeway agreed to pay a total of $2.32 million; Mr. delaTorre’s employer agreed to pay $225,000 as the third-party defendant; The workers’ compensation insurer agreed to waive its $840,000 lien on Mr. delaTorre’s settlement proceeds and further agreed to fund the cost of the medical treatment for Mr. delaTorre’s injuries for the rest of his life. In total, the value of the settlement exceeds $4 million.

“Thanks to this monetary compensation, Mr. delaTorre will no longer have to worry about how he will be able to pay for necessary medical treatments for the rest of his life,” said plaintiff’s attorney, Sean C. Burke. “Furthermore, we hope this settlement will bring greater attention to the need for better safety oversight on construction sites for the hundreds of thousands of engineers, mechanics and others who are at work on construction sites daily.”

About Romanucci & Blandin, LLC

Romanucci & Blandin has been rated as a leading civil trial practice law firm in Chicago concentering in personal injury, medical malpractice and police misconduct. The attorneys at the Chicago law firm represent individuals and their families in catastrophic personal injury matters, wrongful death and workers’ compensation cases. The cases that are referred to Romanucci & Blandin involve accidents or injuries which occurred due to negligence and carelessness on the part of individuals, governmental bodies and corporations of all sizes. Since its inception more than 16 years ago, Romanucci & Blandin has secured more than $400 million in verdicts and settlements on behalf of their clients. For more information about Romanucci & Blandin, please visit or call (312) 458-1000.

About The Law Office of Sean C. Burke

Sean C. Burke is an AV-rated trial attorney who has successfully represented the catastrophically injured from all walks of life, including a $1.6 million jury verdict in June, 2016 for an elderly woman who lost the use of her lower leg and foot after knee replacement surgery, a confidential settlement for a woman who suffered permanent nerve damage in her hand during a routine CT scan, settlement for a mailman bitten in the jaw by a Great Dane and a settlement worth $3.5 million for a window washer whose leg was amputated after a 30-foot fall. Sean has also helped numerous patients who have suffered nerve injuries during elbow, back and neck surgery due to medical malpractice. For more information about The Law Office of Sean C. Burke, please visit or call (847) 604-3970.erly

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