David J. Darling
David J. Darling concentrates his practice in construction litigation, product liability defense work, commercial transportation litigation, defense risk transfer and general negligence work. He has over 24 years’ experience as a civil trial attorney. He is licensed to practice in the State of Illinois and the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
David Darling counts among his clients major international general contractors and engineering companies involved in both private sector and public sector projects. He has extensive experience defending owners, architects, construction managers, general contractors and subcontractors in construction litigation involving personal injury accidents and construction defect and design disputes. He also defends contractors and municipalities in litigation involving accidents arising out of highway construction, signage and signal maintenance. Mr. Darling serves as an emergency on-site presence for catastrophic injuries and accident investigations for some of his clients.
Among some of Mr. Darling’s representative cases in construction trials include the defense of a contractor in a lawsuit in which the plaintiff fell fifteen feet off of a cement form at a construction site resulting in injuries to his back and shoulder. Mr. Darling defended the third party action against the plaintiff’s employer and was able to obtain a finding in his client’s favor and a repayment of the workers’ compensation lien.
He has also defended a manufacturing company in a suit filed by an employee in an industrial accident that resulted in a spinal fracture for the plaintiff causing him to be a wheelchair-bound quadriplegic. Mr. Darling successfully defended the company against all allegations. On the third day of trial, a settlement was reached wherein Mr. Darling, on behalf of his client, negotiated a closure of the workers’ compensation case through the use of a $1.00 settlement approved by the Workers’ Compensation Commission, waiving all future rights and obligations of the company to the plaintiff through the implementation of a Medicare Set-Aside Agreement, and a $300,000.00 repayment to the workers’ compensation lien from the settlement proceeds paid by the other defendants.
Mr. Darling has utilized deposition testimony, discovery exhibits and motions, to his advantage, in settling many liability exposure cases prior to trial for a fraction of the plaintiffs’ demands. Effectively using this pre-trial work has saved his clients hundreds of thousands of dollars in litigation fees and potential verdicts. He has also utilized his fluency in Spanish in the effective defense of his clients, for the confidential communications with certain non-English speaking witnesses and for more complete investigation of accidents.
Notable Cases and Results:
Mr. Darling defended an international General Contractor and Engineering client in a construction accident which occurred at a large capital improvement project. The plaintiff sustained permanent injuries in a fall from a beam and in to a below grade pit at a construction site. Mr. Darling won a motion for summary judgment on behalf of his client arguing that the client did not have any contractual obligations or duties to oversee the plaintiff’s work and had no safety responsibilities within the construction work zone where the plaintiff fell. The court agreed with Mr. Darling’s arguments and exhibits proving that the plaintiff’s employer was responsible for determining and implementing the means and methods for the work, including all safety procedures. During the discovery phase of the litigation, Mr. Darling was able to utilize his Spanish speaking skills by investigating the accident, talking to, and later deposing, Spanish speaking witnesses and laborers at the site. This investigation, along with contractual documentation, helped solidify the motion for summary judgment.