An Allegheny County jury decided this week that careless behavior by a Beaver County man supervising a construction project at Mercy Hospital was worth $1.1 million.
That’s what was awarded on Thursday to a Wilkinsburg plastering contractor, George R. Kalanish, whose existing back injury was worsened by what he said was roughhousing by a job supervisor. Kalanish was working as a subcontractor for Bridges and Company. He was carrying a can of drywall compound in each hand when Donovan came up from behind and pushed him.
“I felt the strongest pain that I ever felt in my back, like … I had been shot,” Kalanish said in a court deposition taken in October.
“It was horseplay that persisted over two jobs,” Kalanish’s attorney, Gary J. Ogg, said yesterday. The bulk of the award was for future pain and suffering caused by Donovan’s carelessness at a job site at Mercy Hospital in November 1992. The award included $20,000 for lost wages and $50,000 for medical expenses, Ogg said.
The jury determined that the event triggered a prior back injury and resulted in Kalanish going through two more back surgeries, which still didn’t relieve his pain. He is able to work, “but will have back pain forever,” Ogg said Kalanish, 43, of Wilkinsburg, got $1,121,894 in compensatory damages after the jury decided that both Edwin I. Donovan II, of Aliquippa, a former job supervisor for Bridges & Company Inc., and the North Side company were liable for the award.