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Construction Worker Settles Suit For $1.16 Million

11.02.2000

A Chicago construction worker whose hard-hat took the force of a wrench that fell 23 stories from a downtown skyscraper, today settled his case for $1.1 million.

Edward Willer of Corboy & Demetrio represented the injured man, Thomas Hinko, an elevator mechanic who was standing outside the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Building when a 12 ½ inch ratchet wrench fell 200 feet, hitting his hard hat. The wrench then bounced off the hat and struck Mr. Hinko's right hand, crushing the bones inside. The injury was so severe that Hinko may never return to his previous position.

Corboy & Demetrio filed suit on behalf of Hinko against Walsh Construction, Co. and Ranken Steel in Cook County Circuit Court. The case was dismissed after today's settlement.

In a front page story in the Chicago Sun-Times, attorney Willer expressed satisfaction with the result, but also urged construction companies to take more precautions at job sites. "There has to be some concern about construction-fall prevention. The defendants didn't even put up safety nets until after the accident."

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