Stone Development, and other construction firms sued over carpenter’s death during hotel project

The man fell to his death due to unsafe conditions at the Waukegan job site, the suit alleges
By Joe Ward | August 14, 2018 10:00AM

Stone Development Group, Level Construction and several other firms are being sued by the estate of a carpenter who fell to his death at a Waukegan hotel construction site.

On Sept. 19, Level Construction was acting as general contractor for a Hampton Inn & Suites project on land owned by Waukegan Star Real Estate at 438 Lakehurst Road.

Ramiro Godinez was hired to perform carpentry work on the project and was instructed to unload materials from a raised forklift onto the third floor of the building, according to lawsuit filed in Cook County.

While unloading the materials, Godinez fell 20 feet to the ground and sustained “catastrophic” injures, the suit claims. He died from those injuries six days later.

An independent arbitrator for Godinez’s estate filed suit against the developer and construction firms, claiming their negligence led to his death. The lawsuit alleges the firms allowed an untrained operator to use a forklift and allowed a plywood box to be used on a forklift.

In addition to Stone and Level, JTM Carpentry and NCZ Construction were named as defendants. Waukegan Star Real Estate is listed as a respondent in discovery in the lawsuit, meaning it could be added as a defendant within six months.

The hotel is scheduled to open next month, according to its website.