Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death Lawsuits and Who Can FileWrongful death lawsuits are filed by one or more plaintiffs against one or more parties who have caused another’s death through intentional harm or negligence. Wrongful death lawsuits allow the deceased individual’s estate to file a claim for compensation against every individual or entity legally liable for their demise. Most suits are filed by an estate representative on behalf of all surviving family members or any other party directly affected by the death.

Applicable Wrongful Death Claims

Most claims for wrongful death are applicable when the victim would otherwise have the legal right to file a personal injury claim had they survived the intentional harmful act or negligence caused by the defendant or defendants. Eligibility for a wrongful death lawsuit usually requires the involvement of certain situations that could include:

Dangers in Construction SitesBeing a construction worker is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. When an accident causes serious injuries and death, it is especially horrific. In March 2015, three workers assisting in the construction of an office building in downtown Raleigh North Carolina lost their lives. Another worker suffered serious injuries after the exterior lift system they were riding detached from the structure.

The accident occurred at a new Charter Square building located on Fayetteville Street. At the time of the incident, the men were taking apart a portion of the elevator system. The mobile scaffold platform ripped away from the structure and plummeted to the ground killing three men and injuring another. The falling platform crushed one of the workers while he was exiting a portable restroom below.

Injured and Deceased Victims

An unidentified individual at the worksite called 911, claiming a construction crew was aboard the elevator platform at the time of its collapse. The deceased men have been identified as Durham residents Anderson Almeida, 33 and José Erasmo Hernandez, 41 along with Clinton resident, 33-year-old José Luis Lopez-Ramirez. The injured worker Elmer Guevara, 53 was transported to WakeMed.

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Cave Ins and Safety Violations for Construction EmployeesOSHA has fined an Elk Grove Village contractor more than $110k for numerous construction site safety violations involving potential trench cave-in’s and similar dangers.

Trench Cave-in’s All Too Common Danger Facing Construction Workers

Trenches are necessary in construction to install water pipes and other equipment. Building trenches according to code is an expensive and time-consuming process. Therefore, many contractors cut corners, but in doing so, they put their workers at great risk of significant injury and even death.

Death due to Bed Sores.Hospital-acquired bedsores have been linked directly to increased mortality rates of patients receiving care in hospital environments. The Journal of American Geriatrics Society published a study led by UCLA that directly correlates death rates and pressure sores acquired in hospitals. The report concludes that study patients developing decubitus ulcers (bedsores; pressure ulcers; pressure sores) had a higher incident rate of suffering a bed sore fatality during the hospital stay compared to those without pressure sores.

UCLA Study Regarding Hospital Pressure Sore Mortality

The study conducted by UCLA shows that pressure ulcers acquired in the hospital were a crucial risk factor in the death of patients. As a result, the study recommends that hospitals quickly identify any patient with a potentially high risk for developing a bedsore and take all necessary preventative measures once the patient is admitted, including creating and implementing interventions.

Alcohol can be Harmful in Boating The Sheriff’s office in St. Clair County, Michigan has taken a 32-year-old man into custody after he allegedly ran his 25-foot Baja boat into a cabin cruiser. The collision occurred Sunday at 6:45 PM on August 3, 2014, killing two passengers and injuring another, all out enjoying a day on the water off Harsen’s Island.

The two passengers killed in the boating accident include Nancy Axford, a 68-year-old from Winnipeg, Manitoba and a 57-year-old resident of Chesterfield Township Robert Koontz.

Alcohol and Excessive Speed

Accident in Road Construction Zone with TrucksTragically, an Urbana man is the fifth casualty killed in the horrific collision on Interstate 55 that involved a semi-truck, leaving three others injured. The 64-year-old Urbana resident Timothy Osburn died at Loyola University Medical Center of his accident-related injuries. He was a victim involved in one of two deadly crashes occurring just minutes apart in July 2014 along the interstate near Channahon.

Authorities claim that the crash is the result of speeding by a large commercial vehicle truck driver through an Interstate 55 construction zone close to Arsenal Road. State police documenting the accident claim the trucker changed lanes abruptly, which caused the chain reaction collision that involved a van and two cars. According to the Will County coroner’s office, three women and an 11-year-old girl died at the scene of the accident.

Four other individuals suffered serious injuries in the crash, including Osburn, who later died at the hospital. The van and two cars involved in the collision had stopped in stalled traffic in the construction zone prior to being struck by the large commercial vehicle.

Lack of sleep may cause more accidentsA deadly truck accident on I-88 in Northern Illinois has people calling for an expanded federal investigation to determine whether trucking companies regularly break safety laws and cause serious accidents. Renato Velasquez was declared an ‘imminent hazard to public safety’ by the Department of Transportation. The reason for this was the role that Velasquez played in the death of a tollway worker. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Velasquez manipulated his logbooks and violated hours-of-service rules with the intent of hiding how many hours he worked.

More about the fatal truck accident

The accident led to the death of tollway worker Vincent Petrella. The accident happened near Eola Road on I-88. Velasquez crashed into a parked Illinois State Police cruiser and Petrella’s truck. While trooper Douglas Balder was critically injured, Petrella was killed onsite.

Construction Death and Falling Debris57-Year-Old Man Killed by Crane

Over one year ago, a 57-year-old veteran of the Chicago construction industry was fatally struck by a crane. The man died after the crane knocked two beams off of the sixth floor of Northwestern’s Music and Communication Building. Even though it has been over a year since the accident, questions surrounding the circumstances of the accident still remain. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has been conducting a months-long investigation since the death of the man.

OSHA Investigations Surrounding the Fatal Accident Continue

Truck Safety Regulations ignoredAfter Trooper James Sauter was killed March 28, 2013, his widow had to deal with the sudden loss of her husband. What might be even more infuriating to Elizabeth Sauter is the fact that her husband died because a truck driver from Wisconsin allegedly fell asleep while driving his semi-trailer truck. It was near the end of last year that Elizabeth Sauter decided to file a wrongful death lawsuit. She filed suit against not only the driver himself, but also the companies that the driver was working for that particular day.

The suit is against Suddath Relocation Systems of Minnesota and Milwaukee, Unigroup Inc., United Van Lines LLC, and Andrew Bokelman (the driver at the time). Bokelman himself is already facing criminal charges in Cook County because he violated federal safety laws that are in place to ensure that tired truck drivers do not continue on the road.

According to the prosecution, Bokelman dozed off behind the wheel of his semi near the Glenview Tri-State Tollway at approximately 11 pm, this after working a 12-hour shift. According to the records from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, both United Van Lines and Bokelman received a fine for breaking a federal rule that mandates that drivers do not drive for more than 14 hours without getting a minimum of 10 hours of rest. United Van Lines received a fine of $5,500 while Bokelman (who works for Barrett Moving and Storage, an agent for United Van Lines) received a fine for $2,500.

Demolition kills workerA work site accident in the north suburbs of Chicago killed Patrick O’Reilly – a Palos Park native – on December 26 at the Vernon Hills’ Westfield Hawthorn Mall. O’Reilly was killed at a demolition site when a piece of falling concrete struck him as part of a wall collapsed. The accident occurred around 11 pm as the work crew knocked down an exterior wall of a former restaurant.

While construction workers were removing an outer layer of brick, they were hit from concrete pieces that came from the top of the wall. O’Reilly was not the only person who suffered injuries, the concrete pieces hit three workers. As the concrete rubble covered the three workers, coworkers rushed to clear the concrete off their colleagues.

While it only took three minutes before Countryside Fire Protection District ambulances, the debris had already been removed from the three. Shortly after arrival at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Patrick died from crushing trauma. One worker was treated for minor injuries while the third worker did not even go to the hospital.

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Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa