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Bloodsaw v. Corbetta Construction Co.

OPINION FILED JUNE 25, 1980.

HAYWOOD BLOODSAW, PLAINTIFF,

v.

CORBETTA CONSTRUCTION COMPANY ET AL., DEFENDANTS. — (CORBETTA CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, THIRD-PARTY PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

ROBERT IRSAY COMPANY, THIRD-PARTY DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.)



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. PAUL F. ELWARD, Judge, presiding.

MISS PRESIDING JUSTICE MCGILLICUDDY DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

The plaintiff, Haywood Bloodsaw, filed a complaint in the Circuit Court of Cook County against various defendants in which he alleged that he sustained injuries as a result of the defendants' negligent acts and violations of the Illinois Structural Work Act. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 48, par. 60 et seq.) Corbetta Construction Company (Corbetta), one of the defendants, filed a third-party complaint against Robert Irsay Company (Irsay), seeking indemnification for any recovery obtained by the plaintiff against Corbetta. On April 25, 1978, the trial court granted Irsay's motion to dismiss with prejudice Corbetta's second amended third-party complaint, and Corbetta appealed.

The plaintiff's complaint alleges that on June 24, 1974, the plaintiff was working on a construction project at Whitney Young High School in Chicago. Corbetta was the general contractor on said project. On that date the defendants *fn1 were guilty of one or more of the following acts and/or omissions:

"a. Carelessly and negligently supplied a certain lift which was inadequate for the job intended;

b. Carelessly and negligently failed to inspect lift to discover that it was inadequate before allowing it to be used;

c. Carelessly and negligently failed to make proper repairs and adjustments after having notice well in advance or, in the exercise of ordinary care, should have been aware of;

d. Carelessly and negligently failed to warn the plaintiff that said lift was inadequate for the job to be done;

e. Carelessly and negligently failed to properly supervise the job and to provide supervisory and technical personnel for the purpose of instructing employees on the proper use and utilization of equipment."

As a result of one or more of these wrongful acts, the lift which held sheet metal and sheet metal fittings "jack-knifed." The sheet metal and fittings fell approximately 13 feet and struck the plaintiff injuring him. The complaint further alleges that all of the acts complained of were done in direct violation of and with complete disregard for the Structural Work Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 48, par. 60 et seq.).

Corbetta's second amended third-party complaint alleges that Irsay, a subcontractor of Corbetta, was the employer of the plaintiff. At the time of the occurrence described in the plaintiff's complaint, the plaintiff was using a certain lift owned, maintained, selected and erected by Irsay. The plaintiff's use of the lift was within the scope of his employment and under the direct supervision and control of Irsay.

Corbetta additionally asserts in its complaint that any negligence or violation of the Structural Work Act on its part would arise from its status as general contractor and from its failure to inspect or adequately inspect the lift used by the plaintiff. It contends that such conduct would be passive and secondary in nature. Corbetta further alleges that Irsay was guilty of one or more of the following acts of active and primary wrongdoing:

"a. Provided the plaintiff with improper directions and supervision as to the manner in which he was to perform his work;

b. Improperly directed and located the lift in the vicinity of a recession in the concrete floor on ...


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