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Chicago Teen’s 46 Story Fall May Trigger Premises Liability Lawsuit

Our Chicago personal injury lawyers were saddened to hear of the recent death of a 16 year-old Chicago teen who fell to his death through a garbage chute in a high rise on Chicago’s Gold Cost.

According to a report by MSNBC, the teen was doing chores when he plunged the 46 stories to his death through the building’s trash chute. Witnesses speculated that, because of the boy’s mental disability, he may have slipped and fell into the chute. Police reported that his body was found in the trash compactor in the basement of the building.

Though police are currently investigating the incident, at the outset it appears that the boy’s grieving family may have the grounds for an Illinois wrongful death lawsuit based on premises liability.

When an accident or injury occurs to a visitor on another person’s property, the owner of the property may be legally responsible if it can be proved that their negligence led to the injury. When injuries do arise in these situations, Illinois premises liability lawsuits may occur.

In order to apply to a set of circumstances, Illinois premises liability law requires a number of factors to be satisfied: the defendant must be the owner or possessor of the land, or “premises” – in this case, the potential defendants may be the person or company who owns the high rise, or is responsible for maintaining it. The second aspect that must occur is that the person or persons on the land of another must be injured by negligence or a different wrongful act; in this particular situation, the building owners or managers have a duty to maintain a safe living environment, including ensuring that the building’s facilities do not present an inherent danger to residents.

In this set of circumstances, legal responsibility could potentially arise from he fact that the building owners failed to maintain the property, and even created a potentially dangerous environment by keeping a garbage chute into which a person could potentially fall. If the property managers are indeed held liable for having been negligent, and it can be shown that their negligence caused or contributed to cause the boy’s death, they may be made to pay damages to the 16 year-old’s surviving family members.

In Illinois wrongful death cases, relatives and other loved ones may be able to receive compensation for their loss; this often comes in the form of damages for loss of companionship, or damages for lost wages that the individual would have otherwise contributed to supporting his or her family. Though a lawsuit can never bring a loved one back to life, it is a step in the right direction, both for achieving justice, and making those at fault pay for their careless actions.

Our Chicago wrongful death attorneys have handled a number of these types of cases, including having won a $6.0 million settlement for the families of 6 children who died in a tragic apartment fire on Chicago’s north side, where landlords of the building failed to have proper and working smoke detectors in violation of the Chicago Municipal Code, and the children were not able to escape the building in time. If you or a loved one have been injured on the premises of another, contact an attorney to better understand your rights under the law.