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08/06/87 Charles Kochan, v. Arcade Electric Company

August 6, 1987

CHARLES KOCHAN, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT

v.

ARCADE ELECTRIC COMPANY, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FOURTH DIVISION

512 N.E.2d 1295, 160 Ill. App. 3d 1, 111 Ill. Dec. 658 1987.IL.1127

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Walter B. Bieschke, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE JOHNSON delivered the opinion of the court. McMORROW, P.J., and JIGANTI, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE JOHNSON

Plaintiff, Charles Kochan, appeals from an order of the circuit court of Cook County denying his motion to adjudicate a workers' compensation lien held by his employer and the Arcade Electric Company, defendant. A jury awarded plaintiff damages in a personal injury action. Plaintiff contends that (1) Arcade's workers' compensation lien should be reduced proportionally by the reduction of the judgment due to his comparative negligence, (2) Arcade's lien should be reduced proportionally by the degree of its negligence, and (3) the lien may not attach to that portion of the judgment for which he never received workers' compensation.

We affirm.

On August 9, 1980, plaintiff suffered injuries while performing electrical work for Arcade. Arcade had a subcontract with the Central Electric Construction Company for the installation of an electrical system in a new building under construction in Chicago, Illinois. A.S. Salzman & Sons, Inc., was the architect and general contractor, and Ruth Kalnitz and Phyllis Slavin owned the R. S. Anderson Company, which owned the building. The Commonwealth Edison Company owned the electrical conductors located on the premises.

On May 10, 1983, plaintiff filed his second amended complaint against defendants Central Electric, Salzman, Anderson and Commonwealth Edison, alleging negligence and violations of the Structural Work Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 48, par. 60 et seq.). The trial court dismissed those counts alleging a cause of action under the Act and we affirmed. Kochan v. Commonwealth Edison Co. (1984), 123 Ill. App. 3d 844, 463 N.E.2d 921, appeal denied (1984), 101 Ill. 2d 566.

Plaintiff filed his third amended complaint on October 25, 1985. He alleged that defendants were negligent in various aspects of the building's construction and that Commonwealth Edison additionally violated the Public Utilities Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 111 2/3, par. 5-201). Defendants in turn sought contribution from each other and brought a third-party action for contribution against Arcade.

The cause was tried before a jury, which returned a verdict for plaintiff and awarded him $275,000 in damages. The jury found, however, that plaintiff was 40% negligent and reduced his award accordingly to $165,000. The jury assessed defendants' liabilities as follows: 17% against Commonwealth Edison, equaling $28,050; 8% against Salzman, equalling $13,200; 7% against Central Electric, equaling $11,550; and 68% against Arcade, equaling $112,000. On April 11, 1986, the trial court entered judgment on the verdict.

Plaintiff subsequently asked the trial court to adjudicate Arcade's workers' compensation lien against his judgment for $136,000. The trial court denied plaintiff's motion on August 27, 1986, and from that order plaintiff now appeals. I

Plaintiff first contends that the trial court should have reduced Arcade's workers' compensation lien proportionately (1) by the reduction of the judgment due to his comparative negligence, (2) by the ...


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