Posted On: December 19, 2008 by Steven J. Malman

Illinois Supreme Court Rules on Workers’ Injury and Death Lawsuits in McClugage Bridge Case

On Thursday, the Illinois Supreme Court resolved an issue about worker’ lawsuits resulting from work injuries and deaths when it issued its decision in the McClugage Bridge case. The case involves the deaths of three McClugage Bridge workers during a 2000 Illinois work accident.

Companies Midwest Foundation and Halvorson Construction Co. had joined together to rehabilitate the McClugage Bridge, which is located in Peoria over the Illinois River. The two companies set up Midwest Foundation/Halvorsan, a joint venture.

On April 24, 2000, scaffolding fell from the bridge, injuring and killing workers. The injured workers and the family members of the workers that died received workers’ compensation benefits. Four of the workers also filed personal injury lawsuits against the joint venture and Halvoran.

The Illinois Supreme Court’s majority opinion found that such lawsuits cannot proceed. Joint venture employees are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for work-related injuries, but they cannot sue the joint venture or its partners.

There was one dissenting judge out of the seven. Justice Thomas Kilbride said that questions lingered over whether Midwest Foundation was reimbursed for paying for the workers’ compensation premiums and if not, then this could allow for personal injury lawsuits to be brought against the joint venture. Per the joint venture agreement, Midwest Foundation paid for the workers’ compensation insurance premiums, and the joint venture was supposed to reimburse the company.

Under Illinois workers’ compensation law, companies are responsible for providing workers’ compensation benefits to injured workers and the surviving family members of employees killed during work accidents. An experienced Illinois workers’ compensation attorney can make sure you receive all of these benefits as soon as possible. Your lawyer can also determine if there are other parties that should be sued for personal injury or wrongful death.

Supreme Court rules on 2000 bridge deaths, PJStar.com, December 18, 2008

Read the Opinion, Illinois Supreme Court


Related Web Resource:

McClugage Bridge, Bridge Hunter

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