Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

illinois injury lawyer

2018 Report Shows Nearly 100 Children Died While Involved in Illinois Welfare System

Each year, the Office of the Inspector General investigates deaths and serious injuries of Illinois children whose families were involved in the child welfare system. The Illinois Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) Office has released a report by Acting Inspector General Meryl Paniak stating 98 children involved with the child welfare agency died in fiscal year 2018. The deaths were investigated between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018. No names or exact locations were used in the report but Cook County was home to the highest number of deceased children connected to the system compared to the rest of the state.

Paniak expressed concern in a letter to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration and the General Assembly saying, “The incidence of child maltreatment is deeply influenced by poverty, violence, mental health and substance use. System-wide collaboration and data-sharing across multiple service sectors—child welfare, juvenile justice, early childhood, education, public health, and behavioral and mental health fields—are essential to improving child and family safety and well-being on a broad scale.”

Until now, OSHA has never before undone a law that put safety requirements in play to protect workers from known carcinogens. Not once.  

Beryllium, a toxic element and known carcinogen, is at the heart of a fight between construction and shipyard employees and the federal government. On January 9, 2017, less than 2 weeks before President Trump was sworn into office, former President Obama published a law that would require construction and shipyard industries to protect their workers by requiring air quality testing and monitoring employees for beryllium exposure. The law, set to go into effect in June 2019, was stalled on March 21, 2017 by the Trump administration, saying it wanted to delay the law due to concerns over the impact it would have on abrasives manufacturers, shipyard and construction companies. In late June, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) announced it wanted to completely abandon beryllium safety protections.


Beryllium Puts Shipyard and Construction Works at Risk for Disease & Cancer

vietnam veteran care

Vietnam Veteran’s Wrongful Death Awarded $7 Million Verdict

A Cook County Circuit Court jury recently awarded $7 million to the family of Patrick Stein, a two-tour Vietnam veteran, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), after nurses and paramedics failed to keep him safe in an ambulance transfer from St. James-Olympia Fields hospital to the Edward Hines Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital for psychiatric treatment. The 64-year-old Army veteran died in July 2014, after his PTSD confusion resettled and prompted him to exit an ambulance while it was traveling 30 to 35 miles per hours and sustain fatal injuries to his head and body. Prior to his transfer, his concerned family had brought him to the St. James-Olympia Fields emergency room after finding him outside his daughter’s home with a butcher knife clutched to his abdomen. Once Mr. Stein arrived at the hospital though, he did not remember the episode with the knife and continued to present dangerous confusion, prompting his fatal ambulance ride to the VA hospital. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that PTSD afflicts almost 31 percent of Vietnam veterans.

Levin & Perconti attorneys Michael Bonamarte, Margaret Battersby Black and Cari Silverman brought the suit on behalf of Mr. Stein’s family. The attorneys argued that Mr. Stein, given his medical history, should have been carefully monitored by medical staff to protect and prevent him from injuring himself during the transfer. Hospital nurses were also faulted for failing to relay information to the paramedics about his mental state. The clinical impressions of the medical staff at St. James indicated Mr. Stein to exhibit:

airplane engine

Steven Levin Talks with MONEY Magazine on Southwest Airline’s Payouts to Recovering Flight 1380 Passengers

Southwest is one of the nation’s busiest airlines and recently landed headline news when one of its Boeing 737-700s was forced to make an emergency stop after a left engine failed and exploded mid-air. The incident occurred while Flight 1380 was en route from New York City to Dallas. The pilot was forced to land the plane in Pennsylvania just 20 minutes after takeoff. The engine blowout created instant chaos amongst all 144 passengers and several injuries were caused by flying debris. Tragically, one passenger died after she was partially sucked out of the aircraft.

The National Transportation Safety Board is conducting an investigation of the incident to determine the probable cause. There is the possibility the busy airline knew of mechanical issues or missed repairs that could have been made to ensure a safe flight.

There are many times in our life when we must place our lives and trust in the hands of medical professionals. Because they have expert knowledge, we rely on them for our healthcare needs. That being said, when we turn to a medical professional for our health, we should be able to trust that we will be taken care of and that our best interest will be in mind. We should not have to have fear that we or our loved ones’ condition will be made worse, or that a new harm or injury will be introduced, or an illness undetected. Unfortunately, it is all too common of an occurrence that medical professionals breach our trust and their legal duty to keep us safe and healthy when in their care. In these instances, victims or their family members can hold negligent parties accountable through medical malpractice or wrongful death lawsuits.

An example of this comes from a recent article published by the Cook County Record, where a woman is seeking reimbursement and damages from Advocate Christ Medical Center for the alleged wrongful death of her mother. The hospital is located in the Chicago suburb of Oak Lawn. According to the complaint, the woman’s mother was admitted for anemia and while in the hospital suffered various injuries. One of these injuries included development of decubitus ulcers, which the woman alleges is the result of neglect during her mother’s stay. The ulcer progressed into a stage II sacral decubitus ulcer upon her released from the hospital, which later resulted in her death. According to the report, on the basis of these ulcers, the plaintiff is citing negligence in her lawsuit, and seeks damages over $50,000.

Our lawyers have filed hundreds of pressure ulcer lawsuits similar to this case. We believe that when patients are in the care of medical professionals, that their condition should only improve, and not be worsened by unnecessary negligence and carelessness. Our attorneys represent clients who have been injured by the careless or intentional acts of healthcare providers, or who have lost family members to this type of negligence. Such lawsuits can include a missed or delayed diagnosis, lack of informed consent, birth injuries, medication and pharmaceutical errors, and neglect.
Continue reading ›

Wrongful death lawsuits may be initiated where a death has been caused by the fault of another person, especially where the alleged wrongdoers owed a duty of care to the deceased and where the deceased was under their care and protection.

According to an article by the Chicago Sun-Times, the family of a Cook County jail inmate has filed suit against the sheriff’s office. The inmate was beaten to death last year by another inmate, and the family is arguing that this was caused by the jail’s dangerous conditions and that guards failed to take action. The victim and five other inmates had been staying in Cell 2107 in the jail’s medical facility at Cermak Hospital. All were receiving mental health treatment at the time. Even though six inmates were assigned to the cell, there were only four beds, so some detainees with mental illness had to sit, sleep, and lounge on the floor.
Continue reading ›

When we think of summertime and pools, we envision many things. We think of kicking back on a raft relaxing, warm sunshine as we float in the cool water, having splash fights with our friends in the hot sun, or sliding down a water slide. Wrongful death lawsuits are typically not on the top of one’s mind when they think of spending summer days by the pool, but unfortunately drowning is a common occurrence every year in public and private pools in the Chicago area.

According to an article by the Chicago Tribune, a father of a teen who died last year at a public pool is suing the Chicago Park District. He alleges that officials at the pool failed to properly monitor the area and provide aid to the boy. The teen boy died last August at the McKinley Park pool on Pershing Road in Chicago. Witnesses to the drowning described that the boy dove into the deep end of the pool and didn’t come up to the surface for over a minute. They also described that they did not see a lifeguard perform CPR on the boy. The father filed the lawsuit in the Cook County Court and claims that the Chicago Park District, through its lifeguards, failed to monitor and control the premises to help the boy. The suit claims that the teen’s father and brother have suffered as a result of the death and asks for over $50,000 in damages.
Continue reading ›

Our attorneys often remind readers about the importance of respecting emergency responders and protecting their safety. It is all too often that we read about emergency responders who are injured or killed while putting their own lives on the line to save others. However, with that being said, safety always goes both ways. Just as we are to be vigilant of and respectful of emergency responders on the job, these workers need to maintain a sense of awareness not only to the emergency they are attending to but to the rest of their surroundings. In this way, we can prevent further accidents and injuries.

According to an article by the Sun Times, a Pope County jury awarded $1.2 million to the family of a teenager who was killed by an ambulance while riding his bike. In 2007, the teenage boy was bicycling near Golconda but failed to stop at an intersection and collided with the side of an ambulance. The family’s lawsuit alleged that the ambulance was driving well over the speed limit and did not exercise the care required of them to avoid collision with the teenage boy. The ambulance was not carrying a patient at the time of the accident, nor was it on an emergency run, therefore requiring the driver to operate the vehicle according to normal traffic laws.
Continue reading ›

Spring and summertime in Chicago are especially popular times to take young children to local parks and recreational areas. With the warm enjoyable weather, these are great spots to enjoy the sunshine and each other’s company with healthy exercise and outdoor activities. When not with families, many children are also enrolled in day camps through their local park districts, daycare facilities, and schools. In this way, they are playing with other children their age and provided with guardianship of trained professional adults. When parents entrust their children to these adults they believe that they will be cared for and watched after. However, it Is incredibly unfortunate when these caretakers breach their legal responsibility to watch after the children and intentionally or negligently cause them preventable injury, or even death, while in playtime under their supervision.

According to recent news by CBS Chicago, one mother is suing a daycare service after her five-year old son died in a playground accident. After dropping him off at daycare before work, she was contacted four hours later to learn the unfortunate news that her son died by choking from a jump rope that was hanging on outdoor play equipment.
Continue reading ›

It is always saddening to hear of fatal motor vehicle accidents close to home in Chicago, especially when the death occurs to a young adult with a bright and promising future. Recent news has informed us that an accident took the life of a University of Chicago law student, soon to graduate and embark on her future and career. This is especially disheartening for our lawyers to learn, because we know the hard work this young person put forth to achieve her goals and the pride her family has in her. Sadly, due to another person’s negligence, her aspirations were selfishly taken away.

According to the news from Chicago Tribune, the student was killed in a wrong-way crash on Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive near Randolph Street. She was getting a ride in a taxi in the northbound lanes when another car drove the wrong way south and collided with the taxi in which she was riding. One of her classmates also in the taxi was in jured and remains in critical condition.

Furthermore, according to CBS, a man has been charged in connection to the fatal crash. A Cook County judge has set the suspect’s bond at $750,000. He has been charged with one felony count of aggravated DUI causing an accident or death, two felony counts of aggravated DUI causing an accident or bodily harm, one misdemeanor count of DUI, and improper use of a controlled access highway. Prior to the collision, the suspect driver left a party, and then drove his car the wrong way up the Lake Shore Drive northbound off-ramp by Grand Avenue. He then struck the taxi, whose passengers were partially ejected from the vehicle. The suspect drank five to six beers and shots before getting behind the wheel. He claimed he was trying to drive to St. Louis. He also had a blood alcohol level of .195, which is more than twice the legal limit, and three passengers in his car.

Lawyer Monthly - Legal Awards Winner
The National Trial Lawyers
Elder Care Matters Alliance
American Association for Justice
Fellow Litigation Counsel of America
Super Lawyers