$212,000 Verdict for Construction Worker Tripped on String
Electrical Contractor Used it to Pull Wiring
Missouri Lawyers Weekly
An ironworker working on the new St. Louis City jail sued the project’s electrical contractor after he tripped over a string in a doorway and hurt his shoulder.
On June 26, 2001 Julius Toth was leaving the lunchroom at the construction site when he tripped over a string used to pull wires into place inside the walls. When Toth stretched out his right arm to break his fall, he tore his rotator cuff.
Toth, who underwent physical therapy and surgery, was out of work for nine weeks after the injury. In his lawsuit he claimed the contractor, Guarantee Electrical, had failed to secure the pull string in the doorwayeven though Guarantee employees had picked the string up off the floor nine times previously.
Guarantee argues that there was no way to adequately secure the string and that Toth should have watched where he was walking.
A jury assessed Toth’s damages at $265,000 but allocated him 20 percent fault, leaving him a judgment of $212,000.
Type of Action: Negligence
Type of Injuries: Torn rotator cuff
Court/Case Number/Date: St. Louis City Circuit Court/012-9252/June 18, 2003
Caption: Toth v. Guarantee Electrical Construction Co.
Judge, Jury or ADR: Jury
Name of Judge: Margaret M. Neill
Special damages: $28,480 medical expense; $8,514 lost wages
Verdict or Settlement: $212,000 verdict after allocation of fault
Allocation of Fault: 80 percent to Guarantee Electrical, 20 percent to Toth
Last Offer: $40,000
Last Demand: $180,000
Attorneys for Plaintiff: John J. Page, Anderson & Associates, St. Louis
Insurance Carrier: TIG Insurance Company
Plaintiff’s Experts: Dr. Herbert Haupt, St. Louis (orthopedic surgeon)
Defendant’s Experts: N/A