Construction Practice | Experience
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  • Confidential construction case

    Lipe Lyons obtained summary judgment for its client, an excavation and demolition company, in a complex construction negligence case in which the plaintiff made an eight-figure global settlement demand. Our attorneys successfully argued that the plaintiff failed to establish a nexus between our client's work and the incident, and that our client did not owe a legal duty becaue it had no contractual right to control the work at the project. The trial court agreed with our arguments and dismissed the plaintiff's claims against our client with prejudice. The plaintiff then filed successive motions to reconsider on various issues raised in the summary judgment briefs and the parties resolved the case for a nominal sum.

  • In re Grenfell Tower Litigation

    Jordan Tank was retained by an insurer to help it resolve worldwide litigation arising out of the June 2017 high-rise fire in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower block of flats in London. The fire caused 72 deaths, hundreds of injuries, and allegedly up to £1 billion in property damage. A public inquiry has been underway in London since September 2017. Some claimants filed suit in Pennsylvania, but the court transferred the cases to England under forum non conveniens, and now all cases are pending in London under English law.

  • Rice v. Speedway et al. v. Robinette Demolition et al.

    Jordan Tank and Josh Yonke negotiated a nominal settlement for their client that resolved a spoliation of evidence claim made in a suit which arose out of a series of 10 explosions that occurred in Westmont in November 2017. A Speedway gas station leaked 10,000 gallons of gasoline into the surrounding sewer system, which ultimately led to the explosions occurring in and around nearby residential buildings and along the sewer lines. Lipe Lyons’ client was hired to shore up an apartment building that was damaged when one of the explosions occurred in its basement. Speedway alleged the shoring work destroyed evidence and Lipe Lyons countered that the work actually preserved evidence by stabilizing the damaged building. The settlement was made directly with the plaintiff who filed suit against Speedway. The court approved the settlement, terminating Speedway’s spoliation claim and any other claims that could have been brought against the firm’s client.

  • Alvares v. 11th Street Plaza, LLC, et al.
    August 8, 2019

    Jordan Tank and Krista Krepp obtained summary judgment for a property owner in a premises liability lawsuit filed by a plaintiff who claimed she incurred nearly $250,000 in special damages after tripping over uneven asphalt in a parking lot that was being repaved. The trial court agreed that the owner did not know about the allegedly dangerous condition or have control over the contractors performing the repaving work. The trial court made the summary judgment order final and appealable, and the plaintiff chose not to seek appellate review within 30 days, ending the litigation for the owner.

  • In Retail Fund Algonquin Commons, LLC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc.

    Defended a general contractor against a breach of contract, breach of warranty, and negligence lawsuit that arose out of the allegedly defective construction of one of the largest upper-tier outdoor shopping malls in the United States.

  • The Russian Orthodox v. Economou Partners Architects, Inc. et al.

    Defended a masonry subcontractor against a breach of contract and breach of implied warranty lawsuit that arose out of allegedly defective structural masonry that caused the roof of a church to cave in and damage rare manuscripts.

  • Alejandre v Gallant Construction

    Jordan Tank defended a general contractor that was overseeing a road construction project against a lawsuit filed by a plaintiff who was rendered a paraplegic when his personal vehicle allegedly struck an unbarricaded cut-out in the roadway and drove into a light pole. At the time of the accident, Plaintiff and two of his friends were driving from a house party to a party store. The driver of the vehicle was impaired by intoxication well beyond the legal limit. After a week of trial, the parties settled for a fraction of Plaintiff's initial settlement demand. 

  • Gerasi v. Gilbane Building Company, Inc. et al., 2017 IL App (1st) 133000

    The plaintiff was an electrician who was severely injured when an electrical breaker he was working on arc-flashed and exploded. Gilbane, the defendant represented by Lipe Lyons attorneys, was the general contractor overseeing the work of the plaintiff’s employer. The plaintiff made a global settlement demand of $17.5 million to settle and right before the hearing on the defendants’ motions for summary judgment the co-defendants settled for over $3 million, leaving Gilbane as the sole defendant. However, the trial court granted Gilbane summary judgment and the First District affirmed, finding no question of fact that Gilbane was not liable under Section 414. The First District assumed that Gilbane had a legal duty due to evidence of control it retained over the plaintiff’s employer but found that it acted reasonably by fulfilling its contractual safety responsibilities. The First District further found that Gilbane did not have notice of the allegedly dangerous work practice that allegedly caused the plaintiff’s injuries. In October 2017 the Illinois Supreme Court denied the plaintiff’s petition for leave to appeal, ending the case.

  • Doherty v. AMEC et al.

    Plaintiff, a carpenter, was setting 4,800 pound concrete retention walls when one of the walls collapsed onto him, crushing his cervical and lumbar spine, both hips, a rib, a lung, and causing other injuries. Jeff Lipe and Jordan Tank represented RM Chin, a construction management firm that provided resident engineers to observe the work of Doherty’s employer and make sure the work complied with the plans and specifications. During discovery Lipe Lyons attorneys took the lead on depositions to show that the employer was solely responsible for Doherty’s safety. Even though Plaintiffs’ attorneys targeted RM Chin with their own questions, when fact discovery was over Plaintiffs settled directly with Doherty’s employer and voluntarily dismissed their claims against RM Chin.

  • Estate of Ogiego v. Adjustable Forms LLC, et al.

    Trial counsel for a crane company in a wrongful death lawsuit arising out of an accident that occurred during the erection of a tower crane in downtown Chicago. On the day of the accident, several ironworkers, and employee of the crane company, and an employee of the general contractor were assembling a 264-foot tower crane for the construction of a luxury condominium tower. For an unknown reason, the ironworker foreman inserted his body into a pinch point without telling anyone else where he was or what he was doing. A 25,000 pound piece of equipment then lowered onto his body, crushing his chest and transecting his aorta. The crane company admitted fault but contested causation. The general contractor denied fault. After a month-long trial, and Plaintiff’s request during closing argument for more than $90 million in damages, the jury returned a verdict $11 million, which was reduced to $10,175,000 due to the decedent’s contributory fault. The amount paid to Plaintiff was considerably less than her last settlement demand, and only slightly more than Defendants’ last offer.

  • Bier v. Walsh Construction Co., et al.

    Circuit Court of Cook County, Ill.: Obtained a reasonable settlement on behalf of an electrical subcontractor in personal injury lawsuit alleging injuries sustained while working at a construction project related to the build out of office space in downtown Chicago. Filed a motion for summary judgment based upon Celotex Corp. v. Catrett arguing that recovery was barred because the plaintiff could not prove that plumbing subcontractor caused plaintiff’s injuries, leading to settlement.

  • Ftacek v. Aetna Engineering Works, Inc., et al.

    Circuit Court of Cook County, Ill. Represented a manufacturer of fall protection equipment. Filed a motion to dismiss arguing that based on conflicts of law and the principles of depecage, Illinois successor corporation liability law applied which released the defendant from liability. The motion to dismiss was granted.

  • Haney v. Dywidag Systems International, USA, et al.

    Circuit Court of Cook County, IL.  Argued for and obtained summary judgment on behalf of the jack manufacturer and supplier in a lawsuit brought by a construction worker allegedly injured when a jack detached from a cable and struck the worker. Summary judgment granted after plaintiff presented evidence of only possible alternative causes rather than obtaining evidence of any proximate cause.

  • Jones v. Mid States Concrete Products Co., et al. and Beemsterboer v. Joseph J. Duffy, et al.

    Circuit Court of Cook County, Ill.: Obtained reasonable settlements on behalf of a steel erection contractor in companion lawsuits brought by families of two construction workers who were killed when they were struck by falling debris during the partial collapse of a new-construction facility that would serve as senior housing. More than 40 depositions were taken, including fact witnesses and expert engineers. Cases settled on the eve of trial.

  • Martinez v. Ergonomics and Safety Services, Inc.

    U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois. Achieved verdict for defendant in lawsuit brought against company hired by general contractor to oversee safety during demolition of a furnace in Streator, IL. Plaintiff was injured when a 4 x 8 ft. piece of plywood fell 10 feet, allegedly due to unsafe work practices, striking plaintiff in neck and shoulder and causing him to be able to return to work as union laborer. Plaintiffs asked jury for $4 million to $5 million in damages.

  • Mellon Stuart Construction, Inc. v. Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

    U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois. Favorably settled breach of construction contract claim on behalf of owner in lawsuit brought by contractor and subcontractor for delay damages and escalation costs arising out of the construction of $50 million office, shop and warehouse building. Case settled for less than 10 percent of the original amount claimed by the general contractor. Also represented owner in action against professional design firm to recover delay and escalation costs incurred due to inadequate plan design.

  • Michael Rizner v. The Weitz Company, LLC v. Prate Installations

    Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.  Plaintiff was a sheet metal worker employed by Prate Installations at the Clare Oaks construction site in Bartlett, Illinois, a 370,000 square foot senior living facility. Plaintiff was in the process of installing expansion joints in the building’s gutters, which had been missed when the gutters were originally put in, and was working off a 60 foot extension ladder. Plaintiff was working at the top of the ladder without using fall protection, in violation of Weitz’s 6 foot fall protection rule, allegedly because no anchor points existed and plaintiff could not gain access to the roof in order to set an anchor point. The top section of the ladder collapsed, apparently because the hooks were frozen, and plaintiff fell 40 feet to the ground, sustaining a fractured left humerus, open book fractures of the pelvis, transverse process fractures of several vertebra, torn rotator cuff, severed ureter and permanent erectile dysfunction. Plaintiff’s medical expenses were stipulated to be $336,176.91, and plaintiff made a claim for $1,785,000 in past and future lost income as disabled from returning to sheet metal work. Plaintiff asked the jury for $9,620,428.91 for Michael Rizner, and $2.5 million for Juliana Rizner on her loss of consortium claim. The last offer prior to verdict was $1.25 million plus a waiver of the $540,000 worker’s compensation lien. The jury returned a net verdict of $973,676.87 ($1,738,708.78 less 44% plaintiff fault), and allocated 16% fault against The Weitz Company, and 40% against third party defendant Prate Installations. The jury awarded no damages to Juliana Rizner on her loss of consortium claim. Defense recommended $1,000,000 for Michael Rizner, and $100,000 for Juliana Rizner.

  • Rytie v. Martin Peterson Company, Inc., et al.

    Circuit Court of Cook County, Ill.: Obtained a reasonable settlement on behalf of a plumbing subcontractor in a personal injury lawsuit alleging injuries sustained while working at a project involving the construction of a new multi-story, multi-structure addition to a local college. Filed a motion for summary judgment, leading to settlement after multiple pre-trial settlement conferences.

  • Wagner v. City of Chicago

    Circuit Court of Cook County, IL. Obtained summary judgment on behalf of defendant Gateway Construction Company in lawsuit alleging failure to provide safe working environment and supervision at a construction worksite. Plaintiff allegedly tripped over perimeter cable left on the worksite.

  • Warren Raines v. Joseph Nicosia

    Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. Obtained a not guilty verdict on behalf of defendant in construction negligence case brought under Structural Work Act. The plaintiff was disabled when he suffered paralysis of long thoracic nerve with winged scapula and loss of use of right arm when trying to move a scaffold. Plaintiff asked jury for $869,759.

  • Smith v. Ford, et al.

    Circuit Court of Cook County, IL.: Achieved a settlement of a nominal amount on behalf of a crane company in a lawsuit brought by an ironworker.  Plaintiff alleged that a load of steel decking weighing more than 5,000 pounds was swung into his leg, causing injury to his knee.  Plaintiff underwent six surgeries to his knee and alleged that he would never work as an ironworker again.  Summary judgment was granted on behalf of the crane company on Section 414 and Section 343 grounds.  Thereafter, Plaintiff’s claim proceeded solely as a negligence claim. Plaintiff’s initial demand was $1.2 million plus a waiver of the workers’ compensation lien.  Plaintiff lowered his demand prior to mediation to $800,000 plus a waiver of the workers’ compensation lien.   The case settled at mediation for less than 7% of Plaintiff’s initial demand.

  • Jones v. Lorgi

    Circuit Court of Cook County, IL:  Plaintiff, Thomas O. Jones, filed suit against defendants, including the firm’s client, a construction company that acts as a general contractor.  Jones’ complaint included allegations that the client negligently caused him to sustain personal injuries while he was working on a construction site.  Shortly after his alleged injury, Jones filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy but he failed to disclose his personal injury claims as an asset in his bankruptcy proceeding. Jones’ injury claims were an asset of his bankruptcy estate and only the bankruptcy trustee had standing to file a lawsuit to pursue a recovery for Jones’ claims. After the bankruptcy trustee attempted to substitute as the plaintiff for Jones, Jeffrey Lipe and James Whalen filed a motion to dismiss the counts against the client pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-619(a)(5) and (9), arguing that the personal injury claims were time barred and that the claims should be dismissed pursuant to the doctrine of judicial estoppel.  The court granted the motion to dismiss, with prejudice, on all of plaintiff’s claims against the client.

  • Carriedo v. Leopardo Companies

    Circuit Court of Cook County, Ill.:  Obtained settlements of plaintiff’s personal injury claims against general contractor after one week of jury trial.  Plaintiff alleged he sustained serious permanent injuries while working with a crane at a construction site in downtown Chicago.  Trial was anticipated to last in excess of two weeks and involved more than two dozen witnesses including liability and damage experts.