A wrongful death lawsuit that was filed by the family of a Chicago man who was electrocuted and killed while working on a bridge in Elgin has settled their lawsuit with the electric company in mediation and will be receiving $3.2 million dollars. The accident occurred over five years ago when this man, as well as another man, was working on the bridge at Fox River in Elgin, Illinois and encountered an overhead power wire that electrocuted them both. The men were present because they were hired to paint the bridge and at the time of the accident, the men were riding in a lift to sandblast the bridge prior to painting when they came in contact with the power lines. The other man that was killed in the accident was driving the lift at the time of the contact with the power lines.
The lift driver’s case was settled in August f this year for $350,000, also through mediation. The lift driver was divorced and had no contact with his children in the previous five years (prior to the accident). The other victim, who just received the several million dollar settlement, was married and cared for his two children who were very young at the time of his death. The settlement amount was determined through mediation and is likely so high to not only cover actual expenses incurred by the family in connection with the tragedy but also to help account for the pain and suffering that the family has suffered through, lost wages and other damages that relate to the young man’s life being cut terribly short. According to the Daily Herald, in addition to the settlement money, the painting company that the men worked for will continue worker’s compensation benefits until the end of this year.
It is likely that the reason the family sued ComEd (the electrical company responsible for the overhead wires) was because there was evidence of wrongdoing, negligence or other liable behavior on the part of the company. It is unclear whether the wires were improperly covered or hanging in an improper way, or what other problem could have been responsible for the electrocution. When a large corporation makes a mistake that personally injures or kills someone, they need to be held liable for their negligence or misconduct.