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Case of the Month September 2023
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Case of the Month September 2023

Correctional officer suffered personal injuries when a sheet of metal fell on him in a construction site

Okan v. Miron Constr. Co. Inc. et al.

Case Type:
Construction & Industrial Accidents - Falling Object
Construction & Industrial Accidents - Equipment
Vicarious Liability

Specific Liability:
Failure to erect safety barriers and/or signs around the site to maintain a safe perimeter and failure to warn of the dangers

General Injury:
Injuries to neck, shoulder, arm and wrist

State: Wisconsin
Circuit Court of Wisconsin, Fifth Judicial District, Dane County.

Related Court Documents:
Plaintiff's complaint: 2020 WL 13753111

Case Name:
Okan v. Miron Constr. Co. Inc. et al.

Docket/File Number:

Result Amount:

Result Date:
June 03, 2022

Jacob Frost

Plaintiff (Okan): Terrence M. Polich, Lawton & Cates SC, Madison, WI; Daniel S. Lenz, Lawton & Cates SC, Madison, WI
Defendants: Eugene M. LaFlamme, McCoy Leavitt Laskey LLC, Waukesha, WI; Erica R. Karch, McCoy Leavitt Laskey LLC, Waukesha, WI; Quentin F. Shafer, Waukesha, WI

Result Type:

Plaintiff: Not Reported
Defendant: Not Reported

Breakdown of Award:
$85,488 to plaintiff Christopher Okan for damages
$42,744 to the State of Wisconsin for damages
$71,768 to plaintiff's counsel for attorney fees and costs

Summary of Facts:
Plaintiff Christopher Okan, a correctional officer with the state of Wisconsin Department of Corrections, asserted while working at the Columbia Correctional Institution (CCI) located in Portage, Wis., defendant Miron Construction Company Inc., a general contractor, and its subcontractor, defendant 1901 Inc., formerly known as H&H Industries, were building a new hospital at the CCI. Miron Construction and 1901 Inc. were reportedly insured by defendant Amerisure Mutual Insurance Company.

The plaintiff said Dustin Loveland, an employee of 1901 Inc., was operating a scissor lift at the construction site while holding a large piece of sheet metal. The plaintiff said as Loveland attempted to maneuver the elevated scissor lift through two fence posts, he lost control of the sheet metal, which subsequently fell on the plaintiff, who was standing below Loveland.

The plaintiff said he suffered personal injuries, which included injuries to his wrist, arm, neck and shoulder, due to the accident.

The plaintiff asserted Miron Construction's and 1901 Inc.'s negligence, which included failing to maintain their construction site in a safe condition and/or free from unreasonable dangers, failing to erect safety barriers and/or signs around the site to maintain a safe perimeter and failing to warn of the dangers, caused the accident.

The plaintiff also contended because Loveland was acting within the course and scope of his employment, 1901 Inc. was liable for his negligence under the doctrine of respondeat superior. The plaintiff further contended 1901 Inc. failed to properly train and supervise Loveland and failed to conduct safety trainings.

The State of Wisconsin Department of Administration was subsequently named as a subrogated plaintiff in the lawsuit.

The parties agreed to resolve Okan's and the state of Wisconsin's claims arising from the accident for $200,000, and sought court approval of the settlement.

The court approved the settlement terms.

Circuit Court of Wisconsin, Fifth Judicial District, Dane County.

Westlaw Citation:
2022 WL 20420976

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