Articles Posted in Accidental Drownings

After less than a day of deliberation, a Chicago jury awarded Tierney Darden $148 million for a shelter collapse outside O’Hare Airport that ripped her spinal cord in half, leaving her permanently paralyzed from the waist down and in constant pain.

In August 2015, Tierney, her mother, and sister had just returned to Chicago after traveling to Minneapolis to pick out a wedding dress for her sister. The three were waiting outside O’Hare under one of several pedestrian shelters found at the airport. A storm caused the shelter to suddenly collapse, trapping Tierney, now 26. After the accident, CBS 2 investigators found corroded parts and missing bolts and screws in not only the shelter that collapsed, but in nearly all others. The discovery and exposure forced O’Hare to remove all pedestrian shelters.

Tierney, a former dancer at Truman College, told CBS 2 of the accident “I hate it. I hate that I have to wake up every day and see it.”

Summertime is in full swing in Chicagoland, and what better way to beat the heat than hitting your local parks and pools. It is a common sight to see the children of the greater Chicago area playing in local fountains like Millennium Park and Maggie Daley Park, but especially kicking back and spending the day at local pools with family and friends. Both Chicago and the surrounding suburbs are filled with many recreational swimming pools for exercise, leisure, and fun. However, since these locations are popular spots for summer fun, they can often become very crowded as well. With increased popularity, this means these locations need to maintain extra vigilance and enforce safety procedure, as they are legally responsible for their guests under premises liability law.

Negligence by pool owners and operators happens far too often. As a result, members of our Chicagoland community, particularly young ones, can suffer serious personal injuries and even death from drowning. According to a recent report by the Chicago Tribune, a young girl is recovering after a near drowning at a Warrenville Lifetime Fitness pool. The four-year-old girl was found unresponsive at the bottom of the fitness center pool. Fortunately she is now able to answer questions and recall her family members and pets, according to the Warrenville Fire Protection. At the time of the incident, firefighters responded to a call of a drowning victim at the health club, and she was not breathing. The firefighters immediately began trying to resuscitate the girl through CPR and suctioning water out of her airway. What is alarming is that this near drowning occurred during open swim while lifeguards were on duty.
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Chicago is a great place for summer fun. What’s especially great about our city is that unlike many other areas of the country, Chicago has all four seasons but still has beaches and waterfront enjoyed mostly by warmer coastal cities. People in our community love to hit the water during the summertime, and have many opportunities to do so with architectural tours, speedboats, tall ships, or just boarding your friend’s boat for the day. However, as with any activity, safety is extremely important. It is important that boat owners, operators and rental companies follow regulations so that passengers are kept safe and free from injury or death.

According to a recent article by CBS Chicago, one woman is suing a boating company after she survived an accident that killed three people. The rental motorboat caught on fire miles off shore. This survivor filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against Sail Time Chicago and alleged that the maintenance that was performed on the boat prior to rental was the cause of the fire.

The article elaborates that the investigation found that just three days before her group rented the boat, a battery or electrical problem occurred. Sail Time Chicago had worked to repair this problem the same day that they rented the boat to the group. That afternoon the boat caught fire, and by 8 p.m. it sank in Lake Michigan. The accident killed two people, causing one to drown and the other to die from hypothermia. Another individual is still missing, but presumed dead.
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Our Chicago swimming pool accident attorneys were deeply saddened to learn the news of the deaths of two young boys who drowned this past weekend in Carbondale, Illinois.

According to the Jackson County Coroner’s Office – the authorities responsible for investigating deaths in Carbondale, Illinois – autopsy results show that the two boys drowned around 7:30 p.m. Saturday. According to NBC Chicago, the boys were 12 years-old, and 14 years-old, respectively, and were reportedly visiting friends in Illinois.

Apparently, the two boys were swimming unsupervised, and were later found at the bottom of the ten-foot swimming pool. Paramedics arrived and took the boys to a Carbondale hospital, where they were pronounced dead; at this point, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office says that the case is being investigated as an accidental drowning, reports NBC Chicago.

With Memorial Day weekend just around the corner, our Chicago personal injury lawyers want to remind people to be especially careful when preparing for summer months and swimming pool openings.

Swimming pools are a wonderful diversion in Illinois during the warmer months; however, if pools are not operated, secured, or maintained properly, serious injuries can occur.

In fact, our Chicago swimming pool accident attorneys were devastated to read that earlier this month, a nine year-old second grade girl with special needs drowned after she fell into the pool in the back yard of her family’s home. Because of her disability, she was unable to swim but was fascinated by the water. The girl’s mother found her body in the in-ground pool; though she was rushed to the hospital, it was too late to save her.

It should go without saying that those who run day-care centers must be particularly vigilant about their conduct to ensure that the children in their care remain safe. Unfortunately, the injury attorneys at our firm understand that this basic standard is often not met. As a result, children continue to be severely hurt-and even killed-by accidents that should have been prevented.

For example, the Journal Gazette reported last on a tragic drowning death involving a one-year old boy. According to the story, the toddler, Juan Cardenas, was at a day care center run by the Praise Fellowship Assembly of God when the accident occurred. The young child was supposed to be supervised closely by those leading the center. That supervision appears to be lacking. For reasons that are still being investigated, the child somehow wandered off without being noticed. It wasn’t until later that caregivers noticed that he was gone and tried looking for him. He was eventually found in the church’s baptismal font. The pool of water was uncovered and had about two feet of water inside. He was rushed to the hospital after he was found, but there was little that caregivers could do. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Of course, this is a devastating for the young child’s family and the entire community.

Unfortunately, as the investigation into the tragic toddler drowning has progressed, it has become clear that there were big warning signs about the care being provided at the church. In mid-November, the facility-which is inspected twice a year by state officials-was cited for several safety violations. Its employees did not have criminal background checks run on them. Open, unsafe, spoiled food was found in the cabinets. The changing tables used by staff members were dirty, and some of the high-chairs had broken safety straps. Clearly, an observer would be able to identify that this facility posed a risk to the children under the care of those

Our Chicago wrongful death attorneys were saddened to hear of the death of a 21 year-old University student, earlier this year. According to the Glenwood Springs Post Independent newspaper, the student drowned in the Colorado River in June 2010, while working to help build the Glenwood Canyon Resort zip line.

The student had only been working for five weeks when the accident happened. The young man and two co-workers were on the job and transporting equipment across the river in a cable car when the car they were in sagged too low and dropped into the rushing current of the river. The student was flung into the river and drowned. He had not been wearing a life jacket at the time.

At the time of the incident, the three men were traveling in the cable car to reach property across the river, with the intent of constructing three, 350-foot zip lines across the Colorado River to be used by the resort. The Glenwood Springs Post Independent reports that the young man and his fellow workers were transporting a generator, shovels and other equipment across the river when the accident happened. The cable car couldn’t sustain the combined weight of the three men and the equipment.

Our Chicago personal injury lawyers were so sad to read about the three year-old Illinois boy who is now hospitalized after being pulled from a swimming pool late last week. The Illinois pool accident happened near Collinsville, Illinois in the 1200 block of South Clinton Road in St. Clair County, Illinois. Illinois fire personnel indicated that the drowning victim was unconscious and unresponsive. No further information was available about the boy’s health and condition at the time.
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Last year, the Illinois personal injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti read about too many heart wrenching cases of injured children involving dangerous pools. These injuries to children could have been prevented! Many children who drown in swimming pools were not neglected – they had only been seen moments before. Unlike what some people may expect, drowning is a silent killer. Water fills a drowned person’s air passages so they are unable to make a sound or scream for help. Unfortunately, fifteen percent of children admitted for near-drowning die in the hospital. Recently, the Chicago Tribune ran an article about pool safety tips and we wanted to highlight some of the suggestions to our readers.

In order to avoid such tragedy, you should always watch children closely; never leave them alone, even for a moment. Remove all toys from the pool after everyone is out so children aren’t tempted to reach for them. You should also consider installing a fence that rises at least four-feet high around the pool. In order to work most effectively, the fence should separate the pool from the house and play area of the yard. You want to use gates that self-close and self-latch, with latches higher than your children’s reach. You should also install door locks and alarms – the lock should be high enough that it would make it difficult for a child to get out. Additionally, a pool alarm will notify you if someone has gotten into your pool, even neighborhood kids. Be sure to keep safety rescue equipment and a telephone by the pool. Of course, call 911 immediately in an emergency.

For more information about pool safety.

A 3 year-old Illinois boy was in critical condition after falling into a swimming pool at his home over the weekend. The boy was outside with his father who was working in the yard. The father believed the youngster had gone into the home, but after 10-15 minutes the parents could not find him inside. He was found floating in the swimming pool.

Levin & Perconti is saddened yearly by the personal injuries that Chicago-area individuals, especially children, suffer by drowning in pools. If you have a pool or live near pools, please take a moment to read the tips on preventing drowning.

To read more about the Illinois child drowning.

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