Construction worker on top of a concrete form panel falls when panel collapses. Liability is disputed among contractors.
The employer, Cal Builders, is immune from liability under California's worker's compensation laws and was not a defendant. The net recovery against Atlas is $16.3 million plus costs.
Grassini, Wrinkle & Johnson by Lars C. Johnson, Woodland Hills.
Dawson & Clark by Donald H. Dawson and Kathleen Clark, Detroit, MI.
Morris, Polich & Purdy LLP by Douglas C. Purdy, Los Angeles.
David Stern, general contracting, Santa Monica.
Mohamed Hassan, structural engineering, Los Angeles.
David Fractor, Ph.D., economics, Pasadena.
Gregg Brandow, structural engineering, Rancho Santa Margarita.
William Powers, crane operation, Phoenix, AZ.
Terry Lysek, general contracting, Mission Viejo.
Daniel Montrenes, economics, Irvine.
On August 2, 2011, 30-year-old Edgar Gonzalez died while working on a construction project at the Hyperion Treatment Plant in Los Angeles.
The project was commissioned by the City of Los Angeles. The general contractor and Gonzalez's employer was USS Cal Builders. At the time of the incident, Cal Builders was in the process of erecting "wall form panels" which are temporary walls that are used to support poured concrete that dries in place to form permanent concrete walls.
Gonzalez was on top of a 30-foot-high form panel when it collapsed, sending Gonzalez to his death. Cal Builders hired a subcontractor, defendant Atlas Construction Supply, Inc. to design the wall form system and supply the wall form components.
Plaintiffs contended that the accident occurred due to the negligence of Atlas and Atlas' defective wall form system.
Atlas denied responsibility, contending that the wall fell due to the negligence of the contractor Cal Builders, the City and the crane operator who placed the form panel in its location.