Frank Colella was working as a laborer for Benchmark Construction on January 2, 2004 at a jobsite at 79th and Justine for a City of Chicago roadway renovation project. While taking a measurement he went underneath a JMS Trucking dump truck, and was subsequently run over by the double rear wheels of the truck operated by Samuel J. Inendino. Colella was taken to Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead approximately one hour after the accident. Inendino told police officers investigating the accident that he did not looked around his truck prior to pulling away.
Colella is survived by his wife and three adult children. Originally from Italy, Colella and his wife immigrated here at age 35; Colella has worked as a construction laborer and has been a member of Sewer & Tunnel Miners Union, Local 2 since shortly after moving to America.
JMS Trucking and Inendino claimed that Colella was more than 50% contributorily negligent for crouching under a running dump truck to take his measurement. Additionally, JMS Trucking and Inendino claimed that Benchmark Construction, Colella's employer, was negligent for failing to properly supervise the jobsite. The jury determined that Colella was 10% at fault, JMS Trucking and Inendino was 90% at fault and Benchmark was 0% at fault.
The jury awarded $20,600 for medical and funeral expenses, $244,000 for lost future wages and benefits, $1,000,000 for conscious pain and suffering and $8,000,000 for loss of society. The verdict was reduced by 10% for plaintiff's contributory negligence, to $8,338,140.00.
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Martin Healy, Jr.
Healy Scanlon Law Firm