Corboy & Demetrio Secures $2 Million for Man Backed Over by Forklift Truck

May 30, 2012

Corboy & Demetrio lawyers Philip Harnett Corboy, Jr. and Edward G. Willer secured a $2 million settlement on behalf of a man from Huntley, Illinois who sustained an above-the-knee amputation of his left leg after he was backed over by a forklift truck.

The 49-year-old plaintiff was working as a lithographer and was employed by American Litho, Inc. on March 31, 2009, when a forklift truck operated by the defendant, Edgar Perez, an employee of the co-defendant Metro Staff Inc., backed over him without properly looking out for the presence of the plaintiff who was walking through the company plant.

The $2 million settlement, which was the full amount of Metro Staff’s insurance policy, came shortly after plaintiff’s counsel submitted a brief, which argued against a motion for summary judgment on the issue of the affirmative defense of “loaned servant.”

Defendant, Metro Staff, Inc., argued Perez was a “loaned servant” to American Litho, and it was completely barred from third party liability.  Metro Staff also argued the only recourse Mr. Sperling had was a Workman’s’ Compensation claim.  Conversely, defendant Metro Staff, Inc.’s, on-site representative testified that she had the authority to stop unsafe work practices of Perez at the American Litho plant.

“In most civil lawsuits, the affirmative defense of loaned servant raises a high hurdle to overcome,” attorney Edward G. Willer said.  “In this instance, however, the loaned servant affirmative defense was rendered moot when Metro Staff’s branch manager testified that she could stop Mr. Perez for safety reasons on the job at American Litho,” Willer added.

Case information:  Gary Sperling v. Edgar Perez and Metro Staff, Inc., a corporation; Case#2009L004953, Cook County Circuit Court, Hon. Diane J. Larsen.