Electrician Suing White Sox for Roof Top Accident

An electrician who was injured while working at Guaranteed Rate Field is trying to collect damages from the Chicago White Sox and two other defendants who he says were liable for the accident. In Zahumensky v. Chicago White Sox Lmtd., the plaintiff claims that the defendants’ negligence created an unsafe work environment that led to his injury. A circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants, but an appellate court overturned that ruling for two of the defendants.

Case Details

The plaintiff worked for a sign company that the Chicago White Sox hired to perform maintenance on the scoreboard at Guaranteed Rate Field, which was named U.S. Cellular Field at the time of the incident. To reach the scoreboard, the plaintiff would walk on the roof, which is covered by a PVC membrane that can become slippery when wet. In June 2013, the plaintiff slipped while walking on the roof and severely tore his hamstring. He has been unable to return to his career of 30 years since the injury. The plaintiff said that he knew that the roof could be slippery but was unaware that it would be wet on that day. He claims that he slipped on an unnatural accumulation of water, caused by unsafe design. He brought his personal injury lawsuit against:

  • The company that replaced the PVC membrane on the roof in 2011;
  • The company that manufactured the PVC membrane; and
  • The White Sox, who manage the building.

Court Ruling

The appellate court upheld the summary judgment in favor of the manufacturer but overturned the summary judgment for the builder and the White Sox. The court ruled that the manufacturer fulfilled its duty to warn the builder of safety hazards of walking on the PVC membrane and offered solutions. The court further ruled that summary judgment was not appropriate for the other defendants because there are still questions of fact about whether they fulfilled their duty of reasonable care, such as:

  • Did the builder adequately warn the White Sox about the dangers of walking on the PVC membrane?;
  • Did the builder inform the White Sox about additional products that could improve safety?; and
  • If aware of the safety hazard, did the White Sox make a reasonable effort to provide a safe working environment?

Contact a Wheaton Personal Injury Attorney

Premises liability law states that the owner of a property has a duty to protect visitors from dangers that they cannot reasonably be aware of or avoid. A DuPage County personal injury attorney at Walsh, Knippen & Cetina, Chartered, can help you receive compensation from a negligent party. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-462-1980.



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