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Construction Negligence-Significant Developments Which Affect and Shape the Tort

IDC Quarterly Vol. 25, No. 4 (25.4.37)

Summary:  This article clarifies both the control requirement and the necessity that a plaintiff prove actual or constructive knowledge of a hazardous condition or work practices as a prerequisite to recovery. In doing so it traces construction negligence cases following vicarious liability in construction negligence cases and again points out the distinction between direct liability under Section 414 and vicarious liability which is limited to agency law principles. In so doing it sets the stage for Carney v. Union Pacific Ry. Co., 2016 IL 118984, in which the Illinois Supreme Court specifically held that vicarious liability has no place under Section 414. It is significant to note that Cassidy & Mueller P.C. represented the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Construction Industry Committee, and Associated Builders And Contractors as amicus curiae. In doing so this firm provided the history and reasoning which is articulated in and supports the decision which is highly favorable to contractors and insurers in the field of construction liability.