Articles Posted in House Fire

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.”

Illinois products liability law holds manufacturers of products liability for the goods they produce and distribute to the public. Companies are responsible for testing their merchandise prior to putting it the market for public consumption, and ensuring that the goods are safe for consumer use.

Customers have an inherent right to expect that products they buy at retail stores aren’t unreasonably latently hazardous. When dangerous or defective products are sold to consumers and those products cause injury, illness, death, or any other kind of harm to the customer, the producer of the good may be held legally responsible for the injury and may be required to pay for damages caused by the injury. Moreover, in some cases, Illinois personal injury law affords the opportunity for the trier of fact to award punitive damages, or damages that send a message to companies to be more careful when manufacturing their products.

When products are recalled from the market, the intention is to protect customers from potential harm caused by defective or dangerous products. Essentially, the idea is to prevent more harm and suffering on the part of the consumers. Nevertheless, the company may be held responsible, and the situation may give rise to an Illinois personal injury lawsuit.

Our city mourned when two Chicago firefighters were killed on Wednesday when the roof of an abandoned Chicago building collapsed on them. Documents uncovered now show that the deadly fire in the abandoned building was a wrongful death accident waiting to happen. Chicago city building inspectors had filed a lawsuit against the owners of the building three years ago after finding multiple violations, including rotting trusses and holes in the roof. Inspectors discovered fourteen building code violations, deeming the structure unsafe and unstable.

Now, the findings sure to get the most attention now are the faulty roof that collapsed during the fire, causing two firefighter deaths early this week. Count seven of the Chicago lawsuit says that there were holes in the roof, which was rotting and leaky. Count 9 demands the building owners restore the roof’s load-bearing capacity after inspectors found that the trusses in the roof and wooden support beams were rotted and vented. Last year, the building owners entered into a consent decree saying that they would either repair the violations or sell the property by November 1, 2010, but the building department said they did neither.

Chicago firefighters approach a fire like the one burning Wednesday morning very cautiously. The abandoned building was built with what is called a bow truss roof, which are prone to collapse during fire. They are instructed not to enter a burning bow truss roof building with an exception. If firefighters believe someone could be inside the building, they conduct a search and rescue operation. And, people in the neighborhood had told firefighters that homeless sometimes used the abandoned building for shelter.

The Chicago-area newspaper The Daily Herald recently reported on a local negligence lawsuit that was filed in the Cook County Circuit Court that Levin & Perconti thought was interesting. The story reports that an Illinois Elgin family has filed a lawsuit against NICOR, a local gas company. The Illinois homeowners state that their Elgin home exploded and burned to the ground earlier this month after a natural gas leak. The lawsuit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court, alleges that Nicor Gas employees committed negligence when they failed to ensure the Illinois occupants’ safety while they inspected and tested the house for a natural gas leak. The ranch home exploded and caused a fire that destroyed the home. The lawsuit seeks more than $50,000 in damages from the Illinois utility company.

The Chicago personal injury attorneys at Levin & Perconti file negligence lawsuits often on behalf of our clients who have been injured or who have loved ones who have been hurt. Negligence is a party’s failure to use reasonable care. In other words, it is the doing of something which a reasonably prudent person would not do. This lawsuit filed by the plaintiffs at the Cook County courthouse contends that the Nicor gas company committed negligence in not ensuring that the occupants were safe, something the plaintiffs contend that a reasonably prudent person would have done.

To read more about the gas company lawsuit, click here.

Firefighters were called to respond to an explosion in a residential garage in Warrenville, Illinois. The fire was reported as a structure fire but was later upgraded to a box alarm fire. No personal injuries were reported in the explosion, despite one person being inside the home. Additionally roads appeared to be clear. At this time, no premises liability lawsuits have been filed. To read the full story, click here.

A fire swept through a brick bungalow in Brookfield, Illinois, killing a grandfather and leaving his two small grandchildren personally injured. The two children ages 4 months and 4 years old were taken to the hospital and are in critical condition with personal injuries. The elderly man was pronounced dead at the hospital. Neighbors said thick smoke was pouring from the home, and the fire took an hour to put out. To read the full story, click here.

A fire in an apartment on the southeast side of Chicago killed three young children and personally injured a fourth child. The fire also spread to the roof of the 2 1/2- story building next door. The three siblings who died in the fire were ages 3, 2 and 7 months old. Firefighters rescued a fourth sibling who was 4 years old. There were no working smoke detectors in the residents. Fire officials did say that one smoke detector was found in the building, which has at least two apartments, but it was not working. Under Chicago law, a landlord must provide a smoke detector in a unit, but it is the responsibility of the tenant to ensure that it is working properly. Officials are looking to the cause of the fire and believe it may have been the misuse of a space heater. To read the full story, click here.

A house fire in a Chicago, Illinois home has left two children dead. The house fire allegedly started when the children used a space heater. The house fire raises the Chicago house fire death toll before the year’s end. House fires, especially in cold areas like Chicago, are common when faulty space heaters are used or if a landlord’s smoke detectors are broken or missing. The most recent house fire leaves a mother childless, the mother did not sustain fire injuries or burn injuries since she was not home when the nighttime fire occurred. There is still an ongoing investigation as to the cause of the fire. The investigation will likely look at if adequate house smoke detectors were in place and if the space heater used was a faulty space heater. To read more about this tragic story click here.

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