January 18, 2011

Cook County Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Over Fatal Blue Island Work Accident

The family of Brain Fuller is suing several counties for his Illinois wrongful death. Fuller, who was employed by George J. Roll & Sons, suffered fatal Cook County crush injuries last February in a Blue Island work accident. At the time, he was working the hydraulic components under an elevated dump truck when the pump released.

Now, the 48-year-old La Grange man’s loved ones are suing those involved in the repair and building of parts used in the truck. They claim that Energy Manufacturing, Inc., which constructed the pump, is liable for the pump and controls defects that caused the pump to get stuck and then release at the wrong time. The family’s Cook County wrongful death lawyer says that EMI is also responsible for the “product design issues,” which included placing the controls below the dump body rather than outside the truck’s bed frame.

Chandler Services Inc., Williams Machine and Tool Co., and Groen’s Towing and Truck Repair and Buyers Products Co are the other defendants named in this Blue Island wrongful death case. All of these companies played a role in the maintenance or manufacture of the cable that was supposed to hold the dump frame’s hydraulic lift and keep the dump body in place.

Remember, not only are injured workers and their families likely entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits, but also, they may have grounds for filing a Cook County personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against liable third parties.

In other recent work injury news, a worker died in a Will County, Illinois industrial accident on December 30 after he ended up trapped beneath three tons of granite. The victim was 23-year-old Chicago resident Emilio Gallardo. He died at the work accident site.

Suit filed over workplace death in Blue Island, Chicago Sun-Times, January 17, 2011

Chicago Man Killed in Romeoville Industrial Accident, Woodridge Patch, December 30, 2011

Related Web Resources:
Illinois Workers' Compensation Act (PDF)

Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission

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September 3, 2010

Chicago Worker Fatality: Sister of Forest Park Mechanic Allegedly Killed by Street Sweeper Sues Companies for Over $600,000

The sister of Forest Park street sweeper Brian P. Miller is suing Elgin Sweeping Services Inc., Elgin Sweeper Company, and Schwarze Industries for his Chicago wrongful death. The 37-year-old man was allegedly killed last year when the street sweeper he was repairing fell on him. Now, Keri Goff is seeking over $600,000 in Cook County wrongful death recovery.

Miller was employed by Hunter Maintenance & Leasing Corporation at the time of the tragic Chicago work accident. According to police, on October 21, 2009, they arrived to find Miller stuck in the compressor of one of the trucks in the company’s rear lot. He was already unresponsive.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office says that Miller died after he got trapped in the sweeper. According to autopsy findings, Miller died from multiple injuries that he sustained from being pinned in the compressor.

In her Cook County wrongful death complaint, Goff accuses Elgin Sweeping Services of a number of negligent acts, including the improper repair, removal, modification, and alteration of safety pins and the improper repair of the street sweeper. Elgin Sweeper Company and Schwarze Industries designed and distributed the vehicles.

Family members who’ve lost loved ones in work accidents cannot sue the employer for Chicago wrongful death. The deceased’s spouse and children, however, are usually entitled to Illinois survivors benefits. If there is no eligible wife/husband and kids, then there may be other family members that qualify. They also may be able to sue third parties that are not the deceased’s employer for wrongful death.

Workers injured on the job are usually entitled to Chicago workers’ compensation. An experienced Cook County workers’ compensation law firm can help you obtain all of the benefits that you are owed.

Family of man crushed by sweeper files suit, WLS-AM 890

Street Sweeping Truck Accidentally Crushes Park Forest Man, eNews Park Forest, October 23, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission

Survivors Benefits Cases Filed in Illinois, Justia

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July 30, 2010

Mount Carroll Illinois Work Accident Deaths in Grain Bin Were Preventable, Says OSHA

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an Illinois grain bin accident that killed two teenagers and injured a third was preventable. The teens that died are 14-year-old Wyatt Whitebread and 19-year-old Alejandro Pacas. A third worker, 20-year-old William Piper, is at a Rockford hospital.

The Illinois work accident happened on Wednesday morning in a bin belonging to Haasbach LLC. Rescuers had to cut holes in the bin’s sides and drain thousands of pounds of corn to retrieve the victims. The rescue operation took about 12 hours and more than 2 dozen firefighters.

According to a preliminary investigation, the three workers were not using safety harnesses or life lines at the time of the incident. Also, at age 14, Wyatt was under the legal age limit allowed for who can work in a grain bin.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation
Although employers are supposed to follow regulations and do what is necessary to keep workers safe, this isn’t always the case and even when it is, work accidents can happen. OSHA statistics report that from 1998 to 2008 there were 16 Illinois grain bin accidents.

Workers injured in grain bin accidents should file an Illinois workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible. It doesn’t matter whether or not anyone was at fault. State law requires that employers provide workers with work accident benefits. An experienced Chicago, Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine how much you should receive. In the event of a dispute with your employer’s insurer as to whether or not your injuries are work-related enough to warrant benefits, your Illinois workers’ compensation attorney can represent you and aggressively advocate on your behalf.

Mount Carroll in shock over grain bin deaths, Quad-City Times, July 29, 2010

OSHA: 2 Illinois grain bin deaths were preventable, AP/Google, July 28, 2010

Grain bin accidents happen quickly, SoutheastFarmPress, November 6, 2002

Related Web Resources:
Illinois Industrial Commission

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Grain Bin Safety, University of Illinois Extension

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June 25, 2010

OSHA Investigates Illinois Worker’s Death at Newton Plant

48-year-old James K. Humphres died on June 7 when he was fatally injured during an Illinois work accident at the GSI Group plant in Newton. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been investigating the machine operator’s death.

Results from an autopsy performed the day after his death indicate a preliminary finding of blunt force compression trauma causing compound cranial fractures.

If your loved one died in an Illinois work accident it is important to file your claim for survivors’ benefits as soon as possible. This should prevent any delays in you receiving the compensation you are owed. It doesn’t matter who was at fault in causing the work injury. Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, family members are entitled to survivors benefits, which can include:

• $8,000 for burial costs
• 66 2/3rd% of the employee’s gross average weekly wage during the 52 weeks prior to the work injury (minimum and maximum limits apply)
• Minimum survivors’ benefit cannot fall under 50% of the statewide average weekly wage at the time that the injury happened (a reduction for individuals that were partially dependent on the deceased may apply)
• Maximum survivors’ benefit cannot exceed 113 1/3% of the SAWW at the time of injury. This benefit is paid for 25 years of weekly benefits or $500,000 (whichever amount is greater)

The worker’s spouse and young children are the primary beneficiaries.

Our Chicago survivors benefits law firm knows how hard it is to lose someone you love in such a tragic manner. We know that no amount of money will make up for that loss, but receiving compensation can relieve some of the financial burden.

Hidalgo man, 48, dies in accident at GSI Group plant in Newton, Herald-Review, June 10, 2010

Handbook on Workers' Compensation and Occupational Diseases, Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission

Related Web Resources:

Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission

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June 11, 2010

Worker Pulled into a Wood Chipper Dies

A 60-year-old worker is dead after he was pulled into a wood chipper. Henry Lira had been working in his job for over 40 years prior to the catastrophic work accident, which wasn’t even his first.

It was 25 years ago that Lira badly mangled one arm and lost the other during another workplace accident, which forced him to need a prosthetic limb. He also sustained burn injuries from electric shock when he grabbed jumper cables out of a crane’s cab and the crane extension made contact with a nearby power line. Lira and his ex-wife sued PG&E for personal injury claiming that the line that made contact with the crane was a hazard because it had been sagging. A jury ruled in favor of the defendant.

Monday’s fatal accident happened while Lira and three other workers were doing road maintenance and clearing brush. He died at the work accident site.

Wood Chipper Injuries
Wood chipper injuries are not uncommon. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its 2004 report, that each year about three deaths and 204 injuries are caused by wood chippers.

Working with and around a wood chipper can be dangerous for everyone involved. Employees feeding the wood chipper branches and tree limbs risk getting pulled into the machine’s rapidly turning chipper knives.

This is why it is so important that workers are properly trained to work with a wood chipper, safe work practices are put in place, and the wood chipper is properly maintained and correctly operated.

Illinois Workers' Compensation
Spouses and children of employees killed on the job are entitled to survivors benefits under the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act. It is important that you receive all of the benefits that you and your family are owed.

County worker killed in wood chipper lost arm in earlier workplace accident, Mercury News, June 8, 2010

Wood chipper injuries not so rare, WVEC, November 23, 2009

Related Web Resource:
Hazards of Wood Chippers, OSHA

Continue reading "Worker Pulled into a Wood Chipper Dies" »

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April 13, 2010

Chicago Construction Accident Lawsuit Seeks Illinois Wrongful Death Recovery After Worker is Fatally Injured at the Calumet Water Reclamation Plant

The family of Jose Meza is suing Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, F.H. Paschen, S.N. Nielson/IHC Construction, and New Holland North America, Inc. for his Cook County wrongful death. Meza, 38, died during a Chicago, Illinois construction accident on November 30 at the Calumet Water Reclamation Plant.

The ironworker was using a skid steer loader when his body harness got caught in the equipment. Meza, who worked for Industrial Fence, Inc., was thrown onto the ground and fatally crushed by the engine-power vehicle.

The Cook County medical examiner’s office determined that Meza’s cause of death was multiple fatal injuries from a construction vehicle accident. The South Side man’s family is seeking over $50,000 in Chicago wrongful death recovery.

Chicago, Illinois Construction Accident
With so many parties involved in overseeing and working a construction site, it is important that all safety protocols and proper procedures are followed to minimize the chance of serious injuries and deaths. Even with safety measures in place, the US Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety Health Administration consider construction sites among the most dangerous work sites in the US.

Construction accidents can cause such serious injuries that a worker may may be disabled or permanently injured for life. If you are someone with dealing with catastrophic injuries—whether your own or a loved one’s—from a work accident, Chicago, Illinois workers’ compensation may not be enough to cover all your losses.

Although you cannot sue an employer for your construction accident injuries, you are likely entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits. You should file your claim immediately. You may also have grounds for filing a Cook County construction accident lawsuit against third parties that were involved in the construction project.

Suit filed over fatal accident at water reclamation site, Chicago Breaking News, April 12, 2010

Worker ran over at Chicago water reclamation plant, WiredNewsEngine, December 5, 2009

Related Web Resources:

Construction Accidents Overview, Justia

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