APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY. THE HONORABLE KATHY M. FLANAGAN, JUDGE PRESIDING.
Released for Publication November 28, 1995.
Presiding Justice Cousins delivered the opinion of the court: McNULTY and T. O'brien, JJ., concur.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cousins
PRESIDING JUSTICE COUSINS delivered the opinion of the court:
The plaintiffs, Gilbert Fari and Nicole Fari, filed a complaint against the defendant, McCormick Center Hotel, Inc., alleging that the defendant violated the Structural Work Act (the Act) (740 ILCS 150/1, 9 (West 1992)). Mr. Fari (Fari) sought recovery for an injured shoulder, and Mrs. Fari pleaded loss of consortium. Fari was working in defendant's hotel when he came across a batch of video cables piled up in an electric closet where he often worked. Fari wanted to remove the cables in order to reach the closet's control panels more easily, and he fell off a ladder while attempting to hang the cables on a drain pipe in the closet. Defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that Fari's activity did not fall within the protection of the Act. The trial court granted the motion, from which the plaintiffs appeal.
Fari was an electrician working for Lar-Vi Electric, an electrical contractor retained by the defendant. On April 18, 1990, Fari was working in defendant's hotel when he went to an electric closet containing control panels which Fari often used in his work. Video cables were partially blocking the door to the closet, and Fari decided to hang the cables on a drain pipe in the closet. Fari fell when the base of the ladder slipped, and he suffered a shoulder injury.
Fari filed his complaint on August 23, 1991, and the plaintiffs filed their amended complaint on February 28, 1992. The amended complaint contained two counts: count I sought recovery for Fari on alleged violations of the Act, and count II sought recovery for Mrs. Fari from the same violations, based on loss of consortium. Section 1 of the Act states:
"All *** ladders *** for the use in the erection, repairing, alteration, removal or painting of any house, building, bridge, viaduct, or other structure, shall be erected and constructed, in a safe, suitable and proper manner." (740 ILCS 150/1 (West 1992).)
Section 9 of the Act states:
"For any injury to person or property, occasioned by any wilful violations of this Act *** a right of action shall accrue to the party injured, for any direct damages sustained thereby ***." 740 ILCS 150/9 (West 1992).
On October 22, 1993, the defendant moved for summary judgment pursuant to section 2-1005 of the Code of Civil Procedure. (735 ILCS 5/2-1005 (West 1992).) The defendant argued that Fari was not engaged in an activity covered by the Act, and the defendant presented Fari's deposition testimony to support its motion.
Fari's deposition testimony contained the following facts. On April 18, 1990, Fari went to an electrical closet which contained circuit breakers and control panels for lighting and sound. No construction work was being done in the closet area, but Fari went to the closet almost every day to use its circuit breakers and control panels. On the floor of the closet were two or three AT&T video cables which AT&T had used and left behind. The cables were between 100 and 150 feet long and were piled on the closet floor. The cables were cut on one end and attached to a telephone ...