February 28, 2011

Deceased Hospital Worker’s Relative Files $600K Cook County Construction Accident Lawsuit

A relative of Rajmund Zalewa is suing Pepper Construction and R.G. Construction for his Cook County wrongful death. The 26-year-old Prospect Heights hospital worker was killed last November after he was pinned by 1,400 pounds of drywall at Advocate Condell Medical Center. The Libertyville construction accident lawsuit seeks $600,000 from the defendants.

Zalewa, a member of the hospital’s housekeeping, was in an area of the building under construction when seven sheets of lead-lined drywall fell on him. Each sheet weighed 200 pounds. He was pronounced dead at the hospital less than an hour after he was discovered.

The Cook County construction accident complaint accuses the defendants of negligence for their failure to warn Zalewa about the danger of the site and for improper storage of equipment. The 12-count Cook County wrongful death complaint seeks $50,000/count.

As a hospital worker, Zalewa’s family is likely entitled to survivors’ benefits under Illinois workers’ compensation law. While he cannot sue his employer for Chicago personal injury, he can, however, seek third party compensation from the third parties that are not his employer but who may be responsible for his fatal work accident.

Illinois construction accidents can cause injury to not just construction workers, but also innocent bystanders who may get hit by falling debris or other hazards that can exist on a construction site. Often, there is likely more than one party involved on a construction job, such as the construction company, sub-contractors, engineers, architects, insurers, or the manufacturer of a machine. This means that there may be more than one party who should be held liable for your Chicago construction accident injury.

Suit blames Condell contractors for man’s death, News-Sun, February 11, 2011

Prospect Heights Worker Killed At North Suburban Hospital, CBS Local, November 18, 2010

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

Construction Accidents Overview, Justia

More Blog Posts:

$6.25 M Chicago Construction Accident Settlement for Injured Roofer, Chicago Workers' Compensation Lawyer Blog, July 14, 2010

High School Janitor Seeks Over $800,000 from Two Students for Work Injuries, Chicago Workers' Compensation Lawyer Blog, May 21, 2010

Injured Boilermaker Sues Third Parties for Personal Injuries Sustained in Illinois Work Accident, Chicago Workers' Compensation Lawyer Blog, November 30, 2009

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August 13, 2010

BP Must Pay $50.6 Million Fine for Deadly 2005 Refinery Blast that Killed 15 Workers and Injured 170 Others

Energy giant BP has agreed to pay a $50.6 million fine for safety violations related to a March 23, 2005 refinery accident involving explosion that killed 15 workers and injured 170 others. Some of the victims were contract workers. The deadly blast happened during the restarting of a unit after it had undergone repairs.

When workers began to fill a tower with gasoline, the tower overflowed, sending excess gas into a back-up unit that also overflowed. A geyser of gasoline then shot up into the air. The gas created a large vapor cloud on the ground, which was likely ignited by an idling truck. Several office trailers filled with workers were destroyed.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration originally fined BP $21 million dollars for failing to take sufficient action to protect workers from the blast. After determining that BP still had not met its commitments to worker safety, last year the fine was increased to the current amount.

The wrongful death and injury attorneys for those that were injured and killed are hoping that now that BP has admitted that it has repeatedly failed to meet safety standards the company’s criminal probation will be revoked. BP reached a $373 million plea deal in 2007 over the 2005 Texas City refinery blast, a number of investigations related to an oil pipeline leak, and price fixing in the propane gas market.

BP is also now liable for billions of dollars in compensation payouts and fines following the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico this year. There was also the blast that sank the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which BP had leased, last April. 11 workers were killed when the rig exploded.

Chicago Worker Injuries
In Lake County, Will County, DuPage County, and Cook County, Illinois, our Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers represent workers with work injury claims against their employers. We also represent employees with third party Chicago injury and wrongful death lawsuits related to their work injury accident.

BP to pay 50 million dollar fine for deadly 2005 Texas blast, AFP/Google, August 12, 2010

Relatives Fear the Dead Oil Rig Workers Are Forgotten, AOL News, May 23, 2010

The Explosion At Texas City, CBS News, October 29, 2006

Related Web Resources:
BP Global

Illinois Workers' Compensation Act (PDF)

Continue reading "BP Must Pay $50.6 Million Fine for Deadly 2005 Refinery Blast that Killed 15 Workers and Injured 170 Others" »

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July 27, 2010

Ex-Motorola Workers’ Cook County Injury Lawsuit Claims Their Children’s Birth Defects were Caused by Toxic Substances Used to Make Products

71 plaintiffs have filed a Cook County, Illinois injury lawsuit seeking damages from former employer Motorola for their children’s birth defects. They are claiming that because they worked with toxic substances during the manufacture of certain Motorola products, their children were born with serious defects.

The former employees contend that the Schaumburg-based company knew that the chemicals used to manufacture computer chips and semiconductors were toxic and could cause people who were exposed to them to have babies with birth defects. The children of the plaintiffs are suffering from different conditions, including spina bifida, cerebral palsy, brain malformations, autism, sterility, skeletal deformities, and physical deformities. Two of the children were missing an ear when they were born. Some of the workers’ kids are now adults.

The children’s parents worked at different Motorola facilities between 1965 and 2007. The plaintiffs are accusing the defendant of knowing (or if not, then they should have known) that reproductive harm was a possible side effect of working with the dangerous substances. They also contend that the company did not provide protective gear for them when they were in what were supposed to be sterile “clean rooms” that ended up circulating the allegedly toxic substances through the air.

The plaintiffs say that in 1986, there was already a study by Johns Hopkins University and IBM that reported that solvents, chemicals, metals, and other compounds can have a dangerous effect on reproduction. Different chemical manufacturers, occupational safety institutes, and trade associations had also warned that working with or around certain products may prove harmful. The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified damages from Motorola.

Employers are supposed to take all necessary steps to protect workers from injury or death while they are doing their jobs. That said, regardless of who was at fault, workers are usually entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation. Even if you are no longer working for your employer, there still may be legal options that you can pursue if you later discover that your injuries or illness occurred because of your former job. If you believe that your child or another family was injured because they were exposed through hazardous substances through you because of your job, you and/or their may have grounds for Cook County personal injury recovery.

Ex-workers' lawsuit blames Motorola for birth defects, News-Sun, July 25, 2010

Ex-workers sue Motorola over kids’ birth defects, Chicago Breaking News, July 26, 2010

Related Web Resource:
Toxic and Hazardous Substances, Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Corporate Responsibility, Motorola

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July 14, 2010

$6.25 M Chicago Construction Accident Settlement for Injured Roofer

Roofer Luis Vasquez has received a $6.25 million Chicago, Illinois construction accident settlement for serious injuries he sustained on March 8, 2004. Vasquez was a roofer for Knickerbocker Roofing and Paving Co. when he fell some 20-feeet through a roof of a Metra-owned premise to land on the concrete floor. A waver of the $560,000 lIlinois workers’ compensation lien was included in the settlement.

The defendants in the case include Walsh Construction Company, the general contractor for the construction project, Metra, and Consoer Townsend Environdyne and Cotter Consulting, a contractor on the project.

Roofer Injuries
Roofers risk serious injuries when doing their job. Chicago slip and fall accidents, fall accidents from elevated heights, falling objects and debris, falls through skylights and unstable floors, and roof collapses are just a few of the hazards faced by roofers. According a University of Florida study from 2000, almost 88% of roofing accidents require hospitalization or end in death. Broken bones, traumatic injuries, and spinal cord injuries can be very painful and costly for the victim and his/her family. A worker with such catastrophic injuries may become disabled for life and no longer be able to earn a living to support the family.

With so many parties normally taking part in a construction project, it can be difficult to determine who should be held liable for your Chicago, Illinois construction accident injuries. Your employer should pay you your Illinois workers’ compensation benefits, and an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation law firm can make sure you are getting all the work injury benefits that you are owed. However, there may be contractors, sub-contractors, architects, insurers, manufacturers of faulty equipment, engineers, and/or other parties who also should compensate you for your injuries.

$6.25 Million Dollar Settlement Paid by Insurers for 57 Year Old Roofer Injured at a Walsh, Forbes.com, July 14, 2010

UF Study: Lax Safety Causes More Home-Building Deaths And Injuries, University of Florida, December 18, 2000

Related Web Resources:
Construction Safety, CDC

Illinois Workers' Compensation Act (PDF)

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May 29, 2010

OSHA Orders Belvidere Company to Pay $510,000 Fine for Deadly Blast that Killed Trucker and Exposed Workers to Hazards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has ordered NDK Crystals Inc. to pay a $510,000 fine for allegedly serious and egregious federal workplace safety standards violations related to a blast killed a trucker and exposed other employees to hazardous conditions.

The truck driver, Ronald Greenfield was in the parking lot of a service station when he was hit by a large chunk of debris last December. The debris came from the company’s crystal manufacturing building. Also injured was a woman who worked Grupo Antolin Illinois Inc. She was thrown during the explosion and treated at the scene before being released. The blast also exposed workers at the facility to hazards that were created as a result.

The explosion happened because a pressurized vessel exploded. Chunks of concrete, glass, sheet metal, and other debris went flying several hundred feet.

If you were injured in a work accident you must file your Illinois workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible so that your employer’s insurer can start covering your medical bills. You have enough to worry about without stressing out about whether or not you can pay for the medical care that you need. Even if your employer did not cause the injury you are likely entitled to Illinois work injury benefits. You also may be able to sue the party responsible for your work accident for Illinois personal injury.

OSHA fines NDK Crystals $510,000 for violations, Chicago Breaking News, May 27, 2010

NDK review may take months, RRStar.com, December 9, 2009

Related Web Resource:
Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Continue reading "OSHA Orders Belvidere Company to Pay $510,000 Fine for Deadly Blast that Killed Trucker and Exposed Workers to Hazards" »

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May 21, 2010

High School Janitor Seeks Over $800,000 from Two Students for Work Injuries

A Bellevelle West High School janitor is suing two students for the Illinois personal injuries he sustained while on the job. Keith Muskopf is seeking over 800,000 from the two minors, whose horseplay he claims caused his arm, shoulder, back, and neck. Muskopf contends that on May 7, 2008, Philsamrae Escaesenas and Ehhsan Hamden slammed an athletic storage door into his shoulder while running out of the school’s locker room.

As a result of the work accident, Muskopf says that he suffered mental anguish and physical pain, lost his normal life, and incurred medical costs. His wife Paula is seeking compensation for the loss of her husband’s affections, services, companionship, society, and consortium. She claims that his injuries have prevented her from seeing to her usual activities and business. Also named as defendants in the Illinois personal injury lawsuit are the teenagers parents, Marites and Rodolpho Escaesena and Nasser and Nadia Hamden.

Janitor Injuries
According to the Occupation Safety and Health Administration, in 2007 262 out of 10,000 full-time janitors were injured in work accidents. This figure is two times the average injury rate (122 out of 10,000) for all private worker industries. Common janitor injuries include repetitive stress injuries, shoulder injuries, chemical exposure, back problems, and electrocution accidents. Many janitors work odd hours, which can lead to stress, fatigue, and loneliness.

Work Injuries
Injured workers can sue parties that are not employers for Chicago personal injury. Meantime, their employer should provide them with Illinois workers’ compensation benefits.

School janitor claims student horseplay causes $800k in injuries, The Record, May 19, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Janitors and Custodians, AHealthyMe

Occupation Safety and Health Administration

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February 6, 2010

Jury Awards $12.1 Million to Worker Paralyzed During Refinery Accident

A jury has awarded David English $12.1 million for spinal cord injuries he sustained during a refinery accident that left him paralyzed. English, a master electrician, severed his spinal cord and broke his neck when a stack of electrical cabinets fell on him, causing the 49-year-old to fall against steps. He is now a quadriplegic, can only breathe with the help of a ventilator, and lives in a nursing home. The defendants in the case included refinery owner Alon USA, refinery contractor Bay Ltd, and Universal Construction.

Refinery Accidents
Working at a refinery comes with occupational hazards that can cause serious injuries. This is why it is so important that employers make sure that safety measures are in place at all times so that workers are protected from toxic pollutants, hazardous chemicals, and other dangers that commonly occur on the job.

Examples of injuries that a refinery worker might sustain during a work accident:

• Burn injuries
• Lead poisoning
• Heat exposure
• Fall injuries
Slip and fall injuries
• Chemical burns
• Asbestos-related illnesses
• Exposure to Silica
• Exposure to Benzene

Illinois Workers’ Compensation
You should submit your Illinois workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible so that you can start receiving your work injury benefits. Unfortunately, not all employers will give you the workers’ compensation benefits that you are owed, which is why getting legal help from an experienced Chicago workers' compensation attorney will work to your advantage. You may be able to file Illinois refinery accident lawsuits against liable third parties.

Nueces County jury awards $12.1M man paralyzed in refinery accident, Caller.com, February 4, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Illinois Workers' Compensation Act, Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission

Spinal Cord Injury, MayoClinic

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January 21, 2010

Chocolate plant owners sued over wrongful death of worker who fell into melting vat

The family of a man who died after he fell in a melting vat while employed as a temporary worker is suing the owners of the chocolate plant where the fatal work accident happened for his wrongful death. Vincent Smith II was fatally injured on July 8, 2009.

He was placing raw cocoa into a giant melting tank when he fell into it and was hit on the head by a rotating panel. The hot liquid chocolate in the vat was 120 degrees.

According to the plaintiffs, there were no guardrails around the melting vat, which had slippery melted chocolate around it. They also say that there were no warning signs, an easily accessible shutoff valve, and or rescue gear. The family’s wrongful death lawyer said Smith was “invited into a death trap” and did not stand a chance of survival once he fell in. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Cocoa Services and Lyons for failing to install warning signs and railings over the tanks.

Lyons and Sons, Inc. and Cocoa Services are among the numerous defendants named in the wrongful death lawsuit.

Workers’ Compensation and Third Party Lawsuits
Most workers are entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits, which include payment of medical benefits, as well as pay for permanent total disability, permanent partial disability, and temporary total disability. An experienced Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer can make sure you receive all the work injury benefits that you are owed.

Although you cannot sue your employer for personal injury, you may be able to sue liable third parties that are not your employer. This is a matter that a Chicago injury attorney can help you figure out.

Suit filed in death at chocolate plant, Philly.com, January 12, 2010

Factory Worker Dies After Falling Into Vat of Chocolate, FoxNews, July 8, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Illinois Industrial Commission


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November 30, 2009

Injured Boilermaker Sues Third Parties for Personal Injuries Sustained in Illinois Work Accident

A boilermaker who says he was injured in a work accident is suing two companies for Illinois personal injury. Ronald McMillan was working at Conoco Phillips refinery on November 20, 2008 when a welding machine with a jack stand that he was moving collapsed, crushing his left foot.

McMillan is suing Miller Welding and Iron Works and DJ Miller Enterprises. He is alleging negligent design of a machine that had a jack stand that wasn’t strong enough to support it and the failure to warn of possible hazards. McMillan is seeking over $200,000 plus costs.

McMillan says the Illinois work accident caused him to suffer permanent and serious disabilities, experience great mental and physical pain and incur medical expenses. Because of his inability to work he contends that he lost significant income.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation
As an injured worker, you are likely entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits from your employer. You may even be able to sue third parties that were responsible for your work injuries for personal injury compensation.

Illinois workers’ compensation usually entitles injured workers to compensation for all necessary medical services, including first aid, surgeries, hospital services, and doctors visits to heal or relieve the injury or illness. Benefits for disabilities and time taken off work are also provided. While you cannot sue your employer for personal injury, liable third parties are not exempt from being sued for personal injury or wrongful death. Obtaining injury compensation from these responsible parties may be critical--especially if your injuries are catastrophic.

Jack stand collapses, boilermaker claims in suit, The Record, November 23, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Illinois Workers' Compensation Benefits, Malman Law

Risk and Insurance Online

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September 30, 2009

Fall into Hot Water Tank Kills Construction Worker

A construction worker died on Monday after he fell into a water tank. Toby Lynn Gardner, a 35-year-old contract worker, was on a catwalk above the tank when he fell at an International Paper Co. mill.

The linerboard white water tank is three stories high and stores recycled water that the company uses to make paper. The water’s temperature is about 150-200 degrees.

Coworkers failed in their attempts to rescue Gardner and his body was recovered almost an hour and a half after the construction accident.

Gardner was employed by Zachry Construction Corporation.

Also on Monday, a 23-year-old construction workers was crushed to death by a compactor roller at a sewage treatment plant. Joshua Parks was driving the machinery over a pile of dirt when it rolled over him. He died at the construction crash site.

In another fatal construction accident involving machinery on the job, John Thomas Sparks, 51, died on Saturday when he was run over by a dump truck that backed over him. Sparks was working at the construction site as a flagger. He also was pronounced dead at the work accident site. Sparks worked for Mama Joe’s Flagging.

Our Chicago construction accident law firm represents injured construction workers and their families with claims against third parties involved in catastrophic work accidents. Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer Steve Malman can also represent construction accident clients during discussions with employers and their insurers to make sure injured workers receive all of the work benefits that they are owed.

Dump truck runs over Oregon construction worker, Justice News Flash, September 30, 2009

Construction worker killed in Roller Compactor accident, ARI, September 30, 2009

Victim in Monday paper mill accident identified, Enquirer-Herald, September 29, 2009

Related Web Resources:
US Department of Labor

Construction Accidents News, New York Times

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September 16, 2009

Jury Awards $6.7 Million Illinois Wrongful Death Verdict to Family of Man Who Died in ADM Work Accident

A jury has awarded the family of Francisco Moreno Garcia $6.7 million for his Illinois wrongful death. Garcia was employed by ECF Inc. when he died from injuries he sustained during a work accident while insulating pipes at an ADM facility. The defendant in the third party lawsuit is Archer Daniels Midland Co.

A machine located close to where he was working malfunctioned, spraying him with steam and hot liquid. He was ushered into a safety shower, but even as his clothes were taken off him, his skin was coming off. According to the Sagamon County coroner, Garcia had burn injuries on more than nearly 90% of his body.

While state law prevents a worker from suing his or her employer for Illinois personal injury, an employee (and his or her family) is entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits in the event of injury or death. The victim and family members can, however, pursue personal injury or wrongful death recovery from a negligent third party. In this particular case, ECF was Garcia’s employer and ADM is the third party.

Garcia was 26 when he died.

Third Party Lawsuits
In Illinois, third party lawsuits are usually filed in Federal or Circuit court. Recovery from a third party claim can be significant if the injuries are serious. The statute of limitations for filing a third party lawsuit is two years from the date of the work accident.

If you were injured in a work accident, you should notify your employer as soon as possible that you are entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits. You should not, however, attempt to resolve your third party dispute without talking to a Chicago injury lawyer. Your Chicago workers’ compensation attorney can make sure that you receive all of the work injury benefits that you are owed.

Ill. jury awards $6.7 million to family of man killed in ADM accident, The Gaea Times, September 16, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Archer Daniels Midland Co.

Accident Report Forms, Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission

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August 12, 2009

Illinois Elder Care Worker Sues Hospital After Patient Attacks Her

A woman who used to work for Home Instead Senior Care is suing Gateway Regional Medical Center (also known as Granite City Illinois Hospital Company) for personal injury. Margaret King says the hospital company could have done more to protect her from a patient who attacked her.

King was a sitter who was hired to sit with patient Andrew George Reando. In her Illinois personal injury lawsuit, King claims that Reando attacked her last December without provocation. As a result of the assault, King says she injured her back, neck, and pelvis. She also experienced suffering, pain, and disability and now has medical expenses. She also suffered lost wages because of her injuries.

King says that Gateway should have stepped up security around Reando, who was known to be a risk to others. She also contends that the hospital company should have properly monitored the patient’s medications.

While workers cannot sue their employers for personal injuries sustained on the job, they are usually entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits. That said, there may be other losses that work injury benefits cannot take care of. This is why if you were injured in a work accident you should consult a Chicago injury attorney who can help you with your workers’ compensation claim and any third party injury lawsuits.

Illinois work accidents do happen—even if the job a worker does isn’t typically considered dangerous, a worker might slip and fall, suffer from repetitive strain or back injuries, get sick due to exposure to toxic substances, or become the victim of a violent crime while at the work site or office.

Hospital worker sues after patient attack, The Record, August 12, 2009

Elder Care, AFL-CIO

Related Web Resources:

Home Instead Senior Care

Gateway Regional Medical Center

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August 5, 2009

Illinois Painter Sustains Serious Work Injuries During Stairwell Fall Accident

A painter says she sustained serious injuries to her head, shoulders, neck, spine, arms, legs, back, and feet when she fell off a stairwell that did not have railing. Laurie Hilliard was employed by Touched by an Angel when the Illinois construction accident happened on July 30, 2007. The company had been hired to provide trim and paint work at the home.

Injured Illinois workers usually are entitled to obtain workers’ compensation benefits from their employers. However, there also may be third parties that can be sued for personal injury because they are liable for the work accident.

Hilliard’s Illinois personal injury complaint, file last month, names Dan and Elaine Whys, Brandon Wyhs, Wyhsco Construction, Don Waddles, Archway Construction, Don Waddles, and Matt Mallinex as defendants.

The injured worker says the work accident caused her to experience great physical and emotional pain and suffering, loss of normal life, disability, and lost wages. She also has medical expenses stemming from her work injuries.

The plaintiff’s 16-count lawsuit is seeking over $700,000 plus costs and other relief. Hilliard blames Elaine and Dan Wyhs of neglecting to reasonably inspect the premises, failing to note that there was a fall hazard, not exercising enough care to make sure she didn’t get hurt, neglecting to remedy the fall hazard, and failing to properly supervise the work site.

Hilliard says that all of the defendants created a fall hazard when they took off the railing that served as a barricade to the unfinished stairwell.

In June, another Illinois painter was awarded over $2.84 million for a heel injury he sustained during a fall accident at a school construction site. In 2003, William Theiss fell 15-feet while working on a lift that didn’t have a guardrail.

He had to undergo a number of surgeries to treat his injuries and was unable to properly do his job after the Illinois construction accident. After taking into account the issue of comparative negligence, Theiss’s award was reduced to $1.98 million.

Painter sues after falling from unfinished stairwell, The Record, August 5, 2009

Related Web Resource:
Construction Accidents Overview, Justia

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July 25, 2009

Worker Sues Yankees for Construction Accident that Severed His Wrist

This week, a construction worker sued the New York Yankees and Turner Construction for injuries he sustained in a construction accident last year. Marc Kemprowski severed his wrist when the portable, power driven handsaw he was using kicked back at him. Kemprowski, 28, says the saw cut his arm to the bone. While doctors were able to reattach his hand, he has lost full use of it and cannot use his hand to do his job.

Kemprowski is accusing the defendants of maintaining dangerous working conditions. Over a dozen other workers have filed personal injury lawsuits for injuries they sustained while building the new stadium for the Yankees.

Construction Accident Claims
Many construction workers place themselves at risk of getting seriously hurt while doing their job. If you were injured in a Chicago construction accident, not only are you likely entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits, but there may be third parties associated with the job that you were performing that can be held liable for personal injury.

Many serious construction accidents have been known to leave a worker injured in such a way that he or she may not longer be able to work as a construction worker ever again. Not only are there costly medical and recovery expenses to consider, but your permanent loss of income may require you to explore all avenues of compensation in addition to your workers’ compensation benefits.

Recent US construction accidents:

• A construction worker was rushed to the hospital today after he fell 30 feet in a scaffolding accident. The worker was working on a job at the JW Marriot Resort when he landed on the concrete. The cause of the fall accident is not known at this time. According to one fire department lieutenant, the worker appeared to have sustained internal injuries and traumatic brain injuries.

• Also this month, a 21-year-old worker died in a July 10 construction accident. It was just his 5th day on the job. Spencer Clark Harrington sustained fatal injuries to his stomach and head when a 30-foot steel fell off a forklift, striking him. Harrington was a father-to-be.

• Just two days before that, another construction worker died when one of the metal pieces used to hold scaffolding together fell five stories, striking the worker’s head. According to police, the other workers told the men on the ground to move but Kimberly McKinley, 54, was not able to get out of the way. McKinley wasn’t wearing a hard hat when he was struck by the metal attachment.

Construction worker injured at the new Yankee Stadium takes legal action, NY Daily news, July 23, 2009

Worker Falls At Hotel Construction Site, KSAT12, July 24, 2009

Construction worker falls 30 feet and lands on concrete, KENS5, July 24, 2009
Father-to-be, 21, dies after construction accident on Harbor Island, Seattle Times, July 13, 2009

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July 24, 2009

Illinois Worker Undergoes Tracheotomy After Falling From Ladder

An Illinois worker sustained serious injuries when he fell while climbing down a ladder. Richard L. Godwin fractured several ribs and vertebrae, as well as sustained a serious head injury during the Illinois work accident, which occurred on April 24. He had to undergo a tracheotomy and use a feeding tube following the work accident. Godwin was working for Survant Air Systems on a job in Fairview Heights when he got hurt.

While Illinois workers’ compensation law allows an injured worker to obtain work injury benefits for any injuries sustained on the job, state law also allows an injured employee to sue third parties for personal injury.

On July 21, Godwin and his wife Dianna filed their Illinois personal injury lawsuit against Old Style Roofing Company. They are accusing the company of failing to secure the ladder to the roof and neglecting to warn Godwin that the ladder was not secured properly.

They are seeking an over $100,000 personal injury judgment. The couple contends that Godwin suffered disability, pain, mental anguish and distress, and loss of enjoyment of life as a result of the work accident. He also can no longer attend to his regular responsibilities and has medical bills that must be paid because of the work accident.

Common Kinds of Injuries Caused by Ladder Falls:

Spinal cord injuries
• Head injuries
Traumatic brain injuries
• Arm injuries
• Leg injuries
• Chest injuries
• Pelvis injuries

Falls from scaffolds and ladders account for a significant number of work injuries. It is important that a ladder is properly positioned, secured, and in proper working condition when used by a worker on the job. Regardless of why a ladder-related work accident occurs, Illinois workers are more than likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

Roofing company blamed for worker's fall and tracheotomy, The Record, July 24, 2009

Related Web Resources:

Misuse of Portable Ladders, OSHA

Safe Ladder Management, Safety-Engineer.com

Continue reading "Illinois Worker Undergoes Tracheotomy After Falling From Ladder" »

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July 10, 2009

Chicago Construction Accident: Illinois Drunk Driver Pins Worker Between Two Motor Vehicles in Work Zone Area

A Chicago construction worker has been rushed to an Oak Lawn hospital after he was struck by a drunk driver in a construction work zone. The Illinois construction accident occurred today on the Bishop Ford Freeway close to Dolton.

The Chicago work accident took place in a protected work zone on I-94 at around 4:15 am when a 1998 Cadillac pinned the worker to a construction van. The worker sustained two broken legs. The driver of the Cadillac suffered head injuries and was taken to a Harvey hospital.

According to Illinois State Police Chicago Master Sgt. Todd Borisey, the construction worker and the work zone were clearly visible to the motorist, and the cones on the roadway made it clear that there was a protected work zone in the area. The drive could be charged with violating Scott’s Law, which increases penalties if a driver does not yield to emergency vehicles or causes injury to service personnel or public safety workers at roadside emergency scenes.

While construction zones are often marked so that motorists can avoid causing injury to workers, many drivers unfortunately do not realized that they are in a road work area and they need to drive carefully so that no one gets hurt. Just last month, Arnold Placensia, another construction worker, was repairing potholes when a motorist who was driving at a high speed struck him. Placensia died from his injuries as did the driver, Nancy Richards, who struck a large piece of construction equipment after hitting him.

Construction workers injured in work zones are entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation. In addition to workers’ compensation benefits, the injured worker or the family of a deceased construction worker may be able to file a Chicago personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against a liable motorist, subcontractor, or another negligent party.

Drunk driver strikes construction worker on Bishop Ford, Chicago Sun-Times, July 10, 2009

Construction worker, driver killed in suspected DUI, The Modesto Bee, June 12, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Scott's Law

Work Zone Mobility and Safety Programs, Federal Highway Adminstration

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June 18, 2009

Illinois Work Accident: Worker Sues Crane Company for Construction Accident Injuries, Including TBI

A Monroe County construction worker is suing Rehkemper & Sons and National Crane Company for his work injuries. Andrew Buckley claims he started to experience mental, personality, and behavioral changes after he sustained a traumatic brain injury while on the job.

Buckley says that on July 11, 2007, he was hit in the head and chest by bundled floor trusses that had fallen after the crane arm that was carrying the materials suddenly broke. The impact of being struck by the bundles threw him backward onto concrete.

Buckley says that as a result of the crane accident, he sustained facial fractures and had to undergo reconstruction surgery. He also sustained a TBI. He contends that his ability to work and enjoy life became impaired and he lost income because he couldn’t work.

At the time of the work accident, Buckley was employed by McFadden Construction Company, and Rehkember and Sons was using mobile cranes at the Columbia construction site. He is seeking over $50,000 plus other relief.

Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries are catastrophic injuries that can seriously impair your ability to live a normal life. A person with a TBI may no longer be able to work or perform daily tasks, and his or her ability to interact with family and friends may become seriously impaired.

While Illinois workers’ compensation benefits will provide you with some compensation for your TBI that you sustained in a work accident, this may not be enough to cover all your costs and losses. An experienced Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer can determine whether you have grounds for filing a third party lawsuit against other liable parties.

Traumatic brain injury at work site prompts suit, The Record, June 11, 2009

Brain injuries are the 'invisible' disability, The Enterprise-Bulletin, June 11, 2009

Related Web Resources:
TBIs, CDC.gov

Construction Accidents Overview, Justia

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June 3, 2009

Chicago Work Accident: Propane Gas Blast Injures Restaurant Workers

Four people were transported to the hospital this morning following a propane gas blast at Cyrano’s Café, which is located at the Chicago Riverwalk. The blast occurred at around 9am while cooks were getting the kitchen ready.

Because of a minor gas leak, the propane tank had been repaired the day before. AmeriGas, which conducted the initial installation, says that the tank had passed a leak test.

A deckhand who works at Chicago’s First Lady boat tours, 24-year-old Jessica Herum, was working nearby and ran to the restaurant to extinguish the blast using a dry chemical fire extinguisher.

Of the four people taken to a hospital following the blast, one person was in serious-to-critical condition, two people were in fair-to-serious condition, and one person was in good condition. Two of the people injured in the blast were cooks that worked for the restaurant. Four other people that sustained minor injuries refused treatment. Later in the afternoon, the Chicago Fire Department cited the cafe with several code violations.

Propane Gas Injuries
Propane is a highly flammable gas. Injuries from a propane gas blast can be life-threatening and may include severe burns, limb loss, and death. Common causes of propane gas blasts can include:

• Leaking gas tanks
• Improper maintenance
• The tank of propane is over-pressurized
• The gas control valves are defective

Work injuries are generally covered under Illinois workers’ compensation law, which means that you are likely entitled to benefits if you were involved in a propane gas blast while on the job. If the gas company or another party acted negligently and contributed to causing your work accident, you also may be entitled to third party personal injury compensation.

Riverwalk restaurant cited in propane explosion, Chicago Breaking News, June 3, 2009

Propane, CCOHS

Related Web Resources:
Propane 101

Chicago Riverwalk

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May 12, 2009

Elevator Accident Crushes Worker to Death

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the elevator accident that claimed the life of a worker yesterday. Jason William Moyer, 39, was repairing an elevator when it fell on him while he was in the shaft. He was pronounced dead at the work accident site.

A report from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation says that the elevator that crushed Moyer failed a private inspection in February 2008. At a follow-up evaluation, the state agency issued a citation to the elevator’s owner for failing to have an updated license. The owner was also told that proof of a current inspection would have to be obtained.

Work injuries and deaths can be grounds for workers’ compensation from the injured or deceased worker’s employer. A personal injury law firm can also determine whether there are third parties that should be held liable for your work accident.

For example, last month a worker that got hurt because a man-lift malfunctioned sued a number of companies and officers for injuries he sustained while on the job. Milan Patrick is suing Victory Holdings, Panco Properties, Cathy Panico, Joseph Panico, Genco Land and Development, and Antonio Colasante for personal injury.

Patrick says that the defendants hired him in 2007 to do some remodeling at an apartment building. The worker had to use a 1995 Genie S40 man-lift to complete some of the work on the side of the building.

The plaintiff contends that because the man-lift was not properly maintained and its safety warning system was not working, on April 10, 2007 the bucket of the man-lift that he was in toppled over, causing him to become pinned between a parked car and the bucket. Patrick says he sustained abrasions and broken bones during his work accident.

Work injuries can lead to expensive medical bills, lost wages, and other damages and losses.

Man crushed in Century Village elevator shaft, Palm Beach Post, May 11, 2009

Shinnston man sues over man-lift injury, West Virginia Record, May 11, 2009

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April 9, 2009

Construction Accidents Injure More Workers

The injury count involving construction workers continues to grow this year. In Florida, two construction workers sustained injuries yesterday when a large metal sheet fell on them. They were trying to guide the sheet through the construction site when it struck them. One worker’s leg injuries were reportedly severe.

In Kansas, a worker was killed on Tuesday during a construction accident at a power plant. The employee, Vatthana Vongtheva, suffered fatal injuries when he got pinned against a boiler wall. The 28-year-old was on a scaffold inspecting equipment when the deadly work incident occurred.

This is the second construction worker death at this plant in less than a year. In May, another construction worker died during a massive crane collapse.

Today, a civil jury awarded $7 million to one construction worker who sustained permanent injuries in an 2005 Iowa construction accident. Sub-contractor Allen Frohn got hurt when a lift tipped over and he fell three stories. He had been hired to do gutter work at the hotel. An expert who testified at the personal injury trial reported that the construction site where Frohn was hurt had been cited for about 8 OSHA violations.

Federal and state laws mandate that construction site owners and contractors provide workers with a safe environment. While most construction workers are guaranteed workers’ compensation benefits, there also may be third parties that are not the injured worker’s direct employer that can be ordered to pay personal injury compensation.

Laborers, ironworkers, masons, carpenters, sheet metal workers, electricians, plumbers, welders, and crane operators are just some of the many construction workers our Illinois construction accident law firm has represented in workers’ compensation cases and personal injury lawsuits.

Two workers injured in construction accident at Fort Lauderdale private school, Sun-Sentinel, April 9, 2009

Scott County jury awards 7 million in construction accident, WQAD, April 9, 2009

Iatan construction accident kills worker, KansasCity.com, March 31, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Occupational Safety and Health Administration

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March 5, 2009

Illinois Highway Construction Worker Injured on the Job Files Third Party Lawsuit Against Motorist

A couple is suing a driver for injuries the man sustained while working on the job as a highway construction worker. Craig and Collette Poettker filed their Illinois personal injury lawsuit in St. Clair County Circuit Court last week against motorist Joseph Courtney. The Poettkers are seeking over $700,000 in damages.

The Illinois work accident reportedly took place in a construction zone on Highway 161 on March 2, 2007 when Courtney, who was driving on the road, rammed through a barricade while trying to change lanes in the construction area. Craig claims that as a result of Courtney’s driving, flying debris struck him and caused serious, permanent leg and head injuries. He says that he experienced extreme mental and physical pain, lost wages from taking time off work, has incurred multiple medical expenses, and is unable to deal with ordinary life matters. Collette is claiming loss of her husband’s consortium and society.

Their Illinois civil complaint accuses Courtney of negligence when he drove through the construction zone at over 35 mph and did not slow down even though a speed limit was posted for when workers were in the area. The couple is also accusing him of failing to properly control his vehicle and not keeping a proper lookout for hazards on the road.

Also named in the Illinois car accident lawsuit is Helitech, the company that Courtney was working for at the time of the catastrophic work accident. Craig claims that Helitech should have known better than to allow Courtney to drive for work when he had a history of speeding violations.

Highway Construction Accidents
Ideally, a highway construction site will be properly set up to minimize injuries to workers. However, merely placing this type of work area on a road can create a hazardous situation for both highway construction workers and motorists.

Common causes of highway construction accidents include:
• Road debris
• Inadequate warning signs
• Cones that are placed in the wrong spots
• Crane accidents

In Illinois, injured highway construction workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they sustained their injuries while on the job. They also may be entitled to third party compensation for personal injury.

Flying debris on highway caused construction worker's injuries, suit claims, The Madison/St Clair Record, March 5, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Construction Laborers, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Construction, US Department of Labor

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February 14, 2009

Man Files Asbestos Lawsuit Suing 58 Companies

A man who was diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease and his wife are suing 58 corporations for personal injury. Joseph and Lisa Headley say all of the defendants knew that Joseph was working around products with asbestos but acted negligently when they failed to warn him about what exposure to asbestos can do to a person’s health. Their complaint also accuses the defendants of failing to provide him with the proper safety gear, clothing, and information.

Joseph says he was unaware that exposure to products that contain asbestos could pose a health hazard to him. As a result of asbestos exposure, he says he sustained injury, disability, illness, pain, mental trauma, permanent partial disability, and physical impairment. He also says he has experienced progressive loss of earning capacity, accrued medical expenses, and can no longer take part in certain activities. His wife Lisa says that because of her husband’s illness, she experienced loss of his services, financial support, care, consortium, and comfort.

Among the defendants are those the couple is accusing of making products that contain asbestos, including: Ametek, Certainteed, Bondex, Copes-Vulcan, Uniroyal, Durabla, Champlain, Henry Vost Machine, Cooper Industries, Kaiser Gypsum,Crosby Valve, Sepco Corp., Crown Cork, Garlock, Georgia Pacific, Foseco, Guard-Line, Insulation Co.,Industrial Holdings Corp., Ogelbay Norton,KCG, Owens-Illinois, Murcowall Products, Rapid American, Parsons E&C, RPM Inc., Union Carbide, and TWC Valve.

Their complaint also names four premise owners, Dupont, Chevron, Texaco, and Exxon Mobile, as well as the following contractors that he claims provided the material that contained asbestos, Bechtel, Able Supply, Daniel International, HP Zachary, and Fluor, as defendants.

The asbestos lawsuit says a number of defendant companies made the machinery that required the products that contained asbestos, including: Zurn, Weil-McLain, Warren Pumps, Viacom, Trane, Oakfabco, FMC Corp., Allis-Chalmers, Ingersoll-Rand, Aqua Chem, Goulds Pumps, GE,Crane Co., Foster Wheeler, Elliot Turbo Machinery, Peerless, and IMO Industries. The complaint also accuses defendant Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. of concealing the dangers of asbestos exposure from members of the public.

The couple is seeking unspecified exemplary and punitive damages, as well as other relief.

Asbestos-Related Illnesses
Asbestos exposure can lead to a number of diseases, including several types of cancer, pleural mesothelioma, and asbestosis. One type of cancer can even take up to 70 years to reveal any symptoms.

A person afflicted by a disease caused by exposure to hazardous or toxic substances on the job may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits as well as third party personal injury compensation.

Almost 60 Charged with Asbestos Exposure, MesotheliomaWeb.org

Suit names 58 defendants over man's asbestos exposure, The Southeast Texas Record, January 21, 2008

Related Web Resources:
Asbestos Related Disorders, Medicine.net

Workers' Compensation, Justia

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January 29, 2009

Steel Mill Worker who Fell off Ladder Awarded $48 Million Personal Injury Verdict

In the United States, a steel mill worker who became paralyzed to the waist down after he fell from a ladder was awarded a $48 million work injury lawsuit against a subcontractor. Anthony Arciniega sustained a spinal cord injury after he fell 17 feet in 2004.

The 42-year-old worker fell because of the refractory concrete that was covering the ladder. Arciniega’s personal injury lawsuit contends that contractor Minteq International’s negligence contributed to his catastrophic work accident. The jury also decided that the steel mill where the accident occurred should be required to pay half of the $48 million verdict.

Arciniega is now a paraplegic. During the civil trial, coworker and his doctors testified that he went back to work in a wheelchair even though he was experiencing nerve pain. Arciniega says he returned to work within six months of the accident because he needed to support his family.

If you have been injured in a work accident, you may not be able to sue your employer for personal injury, but you may have grounds to file a claim against a liable third party. You are also likely entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits.

A spinal cord injury can occur when a vertebrae gets dislocated or fractured by a blow. The damage can wear into cord tissues and put pressure on certain nerves. This can lead to paralysis. Depending on the degree of paralysis, a person’s ability to move and live a normal life can be severely impaired.

According to Brain and Spinal Cord.org, some of the many effects of paralysis:

• Brain damage
• Speech problems
• Behavioral difficulties
• Blood clots
• Constipation
• Loss of bowel control
• Sexual dysfunction
• Blood sores
• Circulation problems
• Breathing problems

Paralyzed Steelworker Wins $48 Million Verdict, The Huffington Post, December 15, 2008

Signs and Symptoms of Paralysis, BrainandSpinalCord.org

Spinal Cord Injuries, MedlinePlus

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January 8, 2009

Family of Truck Driver Killed in Electrocution Work Accident Files Illinois Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Trucker Brian Johnson was driving to Reno Farms to make a cattle feed delivery on January 12, 2007 when his tractor-trailer made contact with a power line. He died from his electrocution injuries.

Now, in St. Clair County Circuit Court, Johnson’s family is suing M.J.M. Electric Cooperative, Fletcher-Reinhardt Service Company, and Cooper Power Systems for his wrongful death. According to their Illinois wrongful death lawsuit, M.J.M. Electric Cooperative acted negligently because it failed to make sure that the hazardous power line (which it owns) and its reclosures were properly maintained, failed to ensure that the power line was suspended at the correct height, and did not warn Johnson about the power line’s presence.

The complaint accuses Fletcher-Reinhardt Service Company of defectively rebuilding and improperly maintaining the power line’s circuit reclosure so that the circuit line could not be de-energized when contact occurred. Cooper Power Systems, the family contends, was negligent in its design and manufacture of the circuit reclosure. Johnson’s family is seeking a judgment exceeding $250,000 plus costs.

Third Party Lawsuits and Illinois Workers’ Compensation Claims
Most Illinois workers are guaranteed workers’ compensation and death benefits anytime they are injured or killed on the job, regardless of who is at fault. While Illinois workers’ compensation law prevents employees from suing their employers for their work injuries, third parties that may have been responsible for causing a victim’s work accident are not immune from liability.

Electrocution injuries are serious injuries that can be catastrophic, if not fatal, for the victim. Medical and recovery costs may be expensive, and you could need all the help you can get. For families who have lost someone they love in a work accident, compensation from third parties can provide a great deal of needed financial support to your existing Illinois workers' compensation death benefits.

Truck driver's electrocution subject of wrongful death complaint, The Madison/St Clair Record, January 7, 2009

Related Web Resources:

M.J.M. Electric Cooperative

Fletcher-Reinhardt Service Company

Cooper Power Systems

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