September 4, 2010

Movie Extra Injured During 'Transformers 3' Shooting Undergoes Brain Surgery

What should have been a fun day as a movie extra shooting a scene for 'Transformers 3' turned catastrophic when a movie extra was critically injured on Wednesday. Gabriela Cedillo, a 24-year-old Chicago bank teller, was struck by a metal object that flew through the windshield of her car. She is reportedly in stable condition after undergoing brain surgery.

The work accident took place during a scene involving drivers heading down a highway as explosions went off. After she was struck, Cedillo’s car, which another movie extra says was being towed by another vehicle, kept moving before skidding for a mile along the concrete barrier median and then stopping.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is trying to determine whether Cedillo, a paid extra, was hired as an employee or as an independent contractor. If she was considered an employee, then her work injury case would fall under OSHA’s jurisdiction.

Cedillo’s work status could determine who can be held liable for her injuries. If she was retained as an employee, she will likely be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Although she wouldn’t be able to sue the company that employed her, there may be third parties that should be held liable.

Actor Injuries
Movie stars, theater actors, extras, stunt doubles, crew members, writers, producers, and others in the business have been known to get hurt on the job. Back injuries, burn injuries, voice injuries, dance injuries, neck injuries, fall injuries, stunt-related injuries, fatigue, repetitive strain, and other injuries have been known to occur to people employed in the entertainment industry.

In Cook County, DuPage County, Will County, and Lake County, contact our Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer to discuss your case.

'Transformers 3' wraps early in Chicago after an extra is injured, Los Angeles Times, September 3, 2010

'Transformers' extra has surgery, Toronto Sun, September 4, 2010

Transformers 3, IMDB

Related Blog Story:

Movie Actor Sylvester Stallone Says He Broke His Neck During Fight Scene, Chicagoworkerscompensationlawyerblog, January 9, 2010

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July 21, 2010

Employee Seeking Additional Illinois Work Injury Benefits from National Maintenance and Repair

National Maintenance and Repair has been paying Robert Vandygriff Illinois workers’ compensation benefits for injuries he sustained on the job. However, the worker believes that he should receive additional benefits. Vandygriff is seeking unspecified damages, pre-judgment, costs, and other relief.

Vandygriff sustained facial lacerations, a closed head injury, back injuries, and a neck injury after he was struck on the head by a large metal ball attached to a crane. The Illinois work accident took place on Barge BB-1, which is owned by his employer.

Vandygriff claims that in addition to sustaining permanent injuries, he also lost wages, suffered a diminished earning capacity, incurred medical costs, experienced pain and suffering, and sustained disability. Although his employer is covering his medical expense related to his work injuries, as well as other interim benefits, Vandygriff believes that he should be getting at least $45 daily in maintenance.

He is accusing his employer of causing his work injuries, failing to provide its workers with the proper training, neglecting to properly inspect the work area, and not providing adequate supervision and equipment.

Closed Head Injuries
A closed head injury can occur when a person is struck hard on the head. This causes the brain to hit against the skull even though no foreign object has penetrated the brain. A closed head injury can lead to loss of consciousness, headaches, respiratory problems, language difficulties, speech issues, vision problems, behavioral changes, emotional changes, and other serious effects. In some cases, a closed head injury can lead to coma or even death.

Worker struck by metal ball on head seeks benefits, The Record, July 21, 2010

Head Injury, Emedinehealth

Related Web Resource:
Read This Court Document (PDF)

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June 30, 2010

Wal-Mart Employee Who Sustained Brain Injury While Trying to Stop Shoplifter Dies

Wal-Mart worker Bruce Florence has died after sustaining a brain injury that he sustained when he attempted to detain a shoplifter at the store where he worked. Florence got hurt on June 14 when he tried to stop a man that was trying to sneak a TV that hadn’t been paid for out of the store.

The alleged thief, William Allen Kennedy, is accused of pushing the Wal-Mart employee and knocking him to the ground before running outside to a waiting motor vehicle.

Florence hurt his head when he fell. Doctors say that he began experiencing bleeding in the brain. After Florence was hospitalized for a number of days, he passed away on Father’s Day.

Kennedy, who is a suspect in other store robberies, is charged with aggravated robbery and shoplifting. Police say that he could be charged with murder if the medical examiner determines that Florence died because of the brain injury he sustained when Kennedy shoved him.

Although working in a department store may seem like a safe occupation, injuries can occur on the job, including:

• Ladder fall-related injuries
• Electrical accidents
• Injuries from falling merchandise
• Slip and fall injuries
• Back injuries
• Repetitive strain injuries
• Neck injuries
• Injuries sustained during store robberies and other violent crimes

Injured workers are likely covered under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. These employees cannot sue their employer, but they should receive their Illinois workers' compensation benefits in a timely manner. If third parties were involved, the injured employee may have reason to file a Chicago personal injury lawsuit.

Local Wal-Mart Worker Injured By Shoplifter Dies, CBS11TV, June 23, 2010

Wal-Mart worker dies after being pushed down by Fort Worth shoplifting suspect, Dallas News, June 24, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Wal*Mart Corporate

Workers' Compensation Overview, Justia

Brain Hemorrhage, Web MD

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November 2, 2009

OSHA’s 2009 Top 10 Safety Violations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued its list of the 10 most common workplace safety violations for the year:

9,093 Scaffolding violations: Most common causes of scaffolding accidents involve the support or planking giving way or the employee slipping or getting hit by a falling object.

6,771 Fall Protection violations: Workers in the general industry working at a height of four feet or greater must be adequately protected. In the construction arena workers must be protected when working at six feet or higher.

6,378 Hazard Communication violations: Chemical makers and importers must evaluate the hazards of their products and develop safety data sheets and labels so that downstream clients are made aware of these hazards.

3,803 Respiratory Protection violations: Workers must be protected against dangerous dusts, smokes, fogs, gases, mists, sprays, vapors, and inadequate oxygen environments. Failure to do so can result in lung impairment, cancer, and other diseases. It can also lead to deaths.

3,321 Lockout-Tag Out violations: Employees must be protected from hazardous energy released during maintenance or service. They also must be protected from the unexpected activation of equipment and machinery.

3,079 Electrical Wiring Violations: Electricians, engineers, sales people, office workers, and other employees must be protected from the hazards of working directly or indirectly with electricity.

3,072 Ladder violations: Falls from ladders can result in traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and death. Fall accidents cause 8% of all occupational-related fatalities involving trauma.

2,993 Powered-Industrial Trucks violations: Tens of thousands of people are injured each year because of forklift accidents.

2,556 Electrical violations

2,364 Machine Guarding violations: Protecting workers from any part, process, or function that can injure or kill a worker.

Compared to same time period last year, the number of top 10 violations has gone up nearly 30%.

Regardless of who or what caused a work accident, most workers are entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits.

OSHA Reports on Top 10 Safety Violations for 2009, Reuters.PR Newswire, October 27, 2009

Related Web Resources:

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October 31, 2009

Does Playing NFL Football Cause Long-Term Head Injuries?

On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee listened to retired NFL football players talk about how years of getting hit on the head while playing the game has caused them to struggle with depression, homelessness, memory problems, and the ability to complete simple tasks. Some researchers are even drawing a link between professional football and memory-related diseases, including dementia. According to a study conducted at the University of Michigan, retired pro football players may have a six times greater incidence rate when it comes to suffering from dementia compared to the rest of the population.

Boston University School of Medicine Chris Nowinski says striking one’s head thousands of time while playing football can cause a disease that kills brain cells. Neuropathologist Dr. Anne McKee, who had had examined the brains of numerous professional and college football players, said 11 of her subjects exhibited brain degradation, memory loss, and emotional issues prior to their deaths.

Also attending the hearing was NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. He pointed out the improvements the NFL has made, including better helmet technology and banning certain kinds of physical hits. He refused to acknowledge a direct connection between playing football and brain disorders.

Regardless, hitting your head or having your head struck can result in serious head injuries and traumatic brain injuries. Depending on the seriousness of the head injury or TBI, it can also lead to long-term disabilities, impairment of the senses, language difficulties, problems being able to reason, emotional problems, social inappropriateness, epilepsy, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s disease, coma, and death.

In this state, NFL players are entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits.

NFL head injuries a hot topic in Congress, Los Angeles Times, October 29, 2009

House Judiciary Committee Hearing Calls Attention to Long-Term Effects of Head Injury Among NFL Players, Reuters, October 28, 2009

Related Web Resources:
National Football League

Illinois Workers' Compensation Act

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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:

Construction Accidents Overview, Justia

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December 24, 2008

Construction Worker Dies and 18 Others are Injured in Botanical Garden Accident

A major construction accident at the Atlanta Botanical Garden left one worker dead and 18 others injured. The work accident occurred on Friday morning as crews poured concrete on Canopy Walk when part of the walkway collapsed.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the cause of the deadly work accident. A preliminary autopsy report found that worker Angel Chupin died due to blunt force injuries. Chupin was 66. Traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries were among the serious injuries suffered by the other workers. All of the injury victims are Hispanic and in their 20’s and 30’s.

On Tuesday, four of the construction workers who suffered serious injuries were transported to the Shepherd Center’s ICU. According to Dr. Donald Leslie, the victims either have brain damage or are partially paralyzed. At least 8 medical workers will be tasked with providing medical care for each patient.

In addition to Hardin Construction Co, the other companies charged with concrete-related tasks for the walkway are subcontractors Pioneer Concrete Pumping Inc., SDC Concrete Construction, and Forta Corp.

Catastrophic Injuries
Spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries are very serious kinds of injuries that can alter a victim’s life forever. Depending on the severity of the injury, a person may become paralyzed for life, end up in a coma or brain dead, or lose the ability to perform regular activities due to loss of muscle control or the ability to communicate or understand language. SCI’s and TBI’s usually require specialized, costly medical care.

If your loved one suffered a catastrophic injury or died during an Illinois construction accident, not only are you entitled to workers’ compensation benefits but you may also be able to recover damages from liable third parties.

Botanical garden accident kills 1, injures 18, AJC, December 19, 2008

4 hurt at Botanical Garden moved to Shepherd Center, AJC, December 22, 2008

Related Web Resource:


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