Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

Published on:

Our attorneys believe that all medical professionals ought to use the utmost care and professionalism when caring for patients. No amount of negligence is acceptable, because these actions can lead to serious personal injuries or even deaths of patients. What makes medical malpractice deaths especially tragic is that oftentimes these losses could have been prevented had a medical professional used the amount of diligence required in the profession. But for this negligence, family members could have their loved ones healthy and alive by their sides.

According to recent news by the Chicago Sun-Times, a patient fell from a gurney while being transported to an ambulance in 2009. As a result of this fall, the patient hit her head on pavement and died several days later from her fall. It was determined that she fell because the gurney was being pushed by one paramedic instead of two.

According to the report, this was a direct violation of required standards of the Chicago Fire Department whose policy states that ambulance gurneys must be pushed by two paramedics in order to guarantee stability. At the time of this accident, only one paramedic was pushing the gurney . Had two paramedics been pushing the gurney, as policy requires, the victim could have still been alive and with her family today.

Published on:

While some of our readers may already be well-versed in the legal definition of wrongful death, others may be looking for a “plain English” definition of what that legal term means. Plainly speaking, wrongful death is a death that has been caused by negligent actions of another person. These deaths can be caused by dangerous products, drunk driving, negligent medical care, etc. In these lawsuits the court determines whether the defendant in the case was so negligent as to have been the cause-in-fact of the victim’s death. The court often analyzes whether if the defendant had not acted if the victim would still be alive. For example, the court may determine that “…but for Doctor X failing to diagnose that Patient Y had this fatal disease, Patient Y would still be alive.” When the court can show that it was the defendant’s actions that did cause the death of the victim, the defendant can be held liable for wrongful death.

One technology start-up that has been positively critiqued as having revolutionized the way in which pedestrians find a taxi in major metropolitan cities is now facing its first wrongful death lawsuit following a pedestrian accident in San Francisco. According to the New York Times, on New Year’s Eve, a family was struck at a crosswalk by an Uber taxi driver, killing the family’s 6-year-old child. According PC World, the lawsuit claimed the driver was working for Uber at the time of the accident and was in travelling between fares after a drop-off. The lawsuit also alleges that the Uber model encourages and enables driver distraction because drivers must use their smartphones to receive information on the location of new fares. And finally, the suit argued that Uber did not properly train the driver.

Uber released a statement acknowledging that the driver’s account was not disabled but added that the driver was not carrying an Uber customer at the time of the accident. However, an argument that victims of these accidents might make for this wrongful death and negligence could be under the legal theory of “respondeat superior.” Under this theory, when an individual is deemed to be at work and causes injury to death to another person (a tortious action), the employer is liable for the employee’s actions. The law holds employers liable for employee’s injuries to others because the employer is viewed to have ordered the employee to carry out specific actions in the course of work for the employer.

Published on:

An Illinois man died after a serious fall off the roof at Chicago’s O’Hare airport earlier this morning. According to the Chicago Tribune, the man, who was an electrician, was doing contract work at the airport as part of a contracting crew. At the time of the accident, the man was doing work on the roof of Terminal Five, when he fell from his spot thirty-five feet in the air to the ground below, landing on his back. The paramedics were called immediately following the accident, however the man was pronounced dead while still at the scene of the accident by the paramedics. At this time it is unknown exactly what type of work the victim was doing at the time of his fall or whether any safety precautions were in place at the time of the accident.

While it is unknown at this time whether or not the family of the victim will file a wrongful death lawsuit, they may choose to file a lawsuit once more is known about the accident. Once the family learns more about the accident, they may choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit against those they believe may have acted negligently, causing the accident.

In cases where a person is killed as a result of someone else’s action, the family of the victim may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of their family member that was killed by the negligent act. This option is available to family members of a victim, since the victim is no longer able to bring a claim themselves. This allows the family to hold the person accountable for their negligent actions, even though the party bringing the lawsuit was not the one injured by the negligent act.

Published on:

The family of a young teenage boy who was tragically killed earlier this summer by multiple mistakes made by hospital staff, have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the hospital employees, citing that their actions were both reckless and negligent. The young boy was in the hospital because he had just been involved in a skateboard accident and was taken in for treatment for those personal injuries. The parents of the young boy state that he was alert and talking to them while waiting in the emergency room of the initial hospital that he was taken to following the accident.

The hospital staff at the initial hospital decided that the young boy should be transferred to another hospital for further treatment. However, on the way to the second hospital, a breathing tube was inserted into the boy’s throat but because the boy was not properly sedated he woke up and pulled the tube out of this throat. The ambulance staff then attempted to reinsert the breathing tube but reinserted the tube in the wrong place in the young boy’s throat. The staff did not realize the tube was in the incorrect position and sedated the young boy, leading him to be without oxygen for the rest of the ride, approximately 35 more minutes.

According to WITN, given the amount of time the young boy was without any oxygen, he had no brain activity when he arrived at the second hospital and was taken off life support not long after arrival. The wrongful death lawsuit filed by the young boy’s family claims that the employees at the first hospital were grossly negligent and that the staff acted with reckless disregard for their son’s life.

Published on:

A woman, whose child died while she was carrying him in a shoulder sling baby carrier has recently settled her wrongful death lawsuit against the manufacturer of the baby carrier, prior to the case going went to trial. The terrible tragic incident occurred in the winter of 2009 when the mother of the young baby was carrying her two newborn twin babies in two separate carriers around town. She noticed that one of the babies had dripped blood onto his bib, and when she immediately checked on him he would not wake up. After performing CPR and an ambulance coming and taking him to a local hospital, the young baby was pronounced dead. While it was initially unknown what caused the baby to die, over time it appeared that it was related to the infant carrier, after it was realized that the design could possibly lead to suffocation in babies under a certain age.

The mother’s lawsuit claimed that the baby carrier manufacturer had not properly tested their product prior to placing it on the market and that the manufacturer lied about compliance with the industry standards. The manufacturer apparently ignored numerous complaints by customers that suggested that the design of the product led babies to be positioned in a way that limited breathing. In fact, the mother’s case stated that it was not until a year after the death of her tiny baby that the manufacturer issued a recall for the faulty product and finally stated that the product could present a suffocation risk for infants under the age of four months. The mother’s case also stated that the manufacturer had been linked to three other infant deaths, in addition to this young baby.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the manufacturer responded claiming that the mother was using their product improperly, The company alleged in their response that the mother did not follow proper safety directions and was improperly using the carrier and that it was not designed to have two used at the same time by the same person. They also claim that she may have been carrying both babies in one carrier, which is not how the product was supposed to be or intended to be used. The manufacturer further argued that the results of the baby’s autopsy were inconclusive, meaning that the baby may have died as a result of something other than stopping breathing while being using their carrier product.

Published on:

The family of a Springfield woman who was killed in a drunk driving accident last year has reached a monetary settlement in connection with the wrongful death lawsuit that they filed on behalf of their young daughter. The accident occurred when the young woman was driving through an intersection and was struck by a van that had run a red light. The vehicle that ran the red light was a heating and cooling van driven by a young man, who was on the job and who was apparently driving under the influence at the time of the terrible accident.

A criminal case filed against the heating and cooling van driver resulted in a sentence of eight years in prison, after he pled guilty to aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol. The victim’s mother also filed the above referenced wrongful death lawsuit against the drunk driver who caused the accident. In addition to naming the driver as a defendant, the wrongful death lawsuit also sued an Illinois bar where the driver had been drinking for several hours prior to the accident. In Illinois, a lawsuit may be brought against the establishment where a drunk driver was drinking prior to an accident in certain situations, under the Dram Shop Act. The lawsuit also listed the driver’s employer as a defendant in the wrongful death case, as the driver was on a service call when the accident occurred, meaning he was drinking while on duty at the time of the accident. The lawsuit alleges that not only was he drinking at the bar for several hours before the accident occurred but that he was also drinking at the job site right for about an hour before the terrible accident occurred.

According to The State Journal-Register, both the bar and the employer have settled with the mother of the victim, the bar for $140,000 dollars and the employer for $1.5 million dollars. These amounts do not only account for actual damages (including medical care) incurred as a result of the accident but also for pain and suffering and other emotional damages that the family of the young victim suffered at the hands of these parties.

Published on:

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.

Published on:

The family of a young boy who was killed after a large and heavy digital sign, displaying arrival and departure times at an airport, fell on him filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the manufacturer of the electronic sign as well as against the contractor that installed the electronic sign at the airport. The airport is not included as a defendant in this specific lawsuit, because the state in which the accident occurred does not allow injured parties or the families of injured parties to sue airports for liability.

The tragic accident occurred earlier this year when the young boy and his family were on their way home from a family vacation. The young boy, his brother and his mom were standing underneath where the sign was hanging and when the sign unexpectedly fell they were all hit by the sign as it crashed down. The young boywas unable to recover from his severe injuries and ended up dying as a result of the accident. The boy’s brother and mother suffered serious personal injuries, however they have since recovered from their injuries.

At this time, the trial date for this case is scheduled for November of next year and according to KSHB News, the family of the young boy are happy that the courts set the trial date and allowed the case to begin moving along, hoping it will provide some closure to their terrible ordeal. While nothing will ever fix what was done to their family, the lawsuit will hopefully provide compensation for their loss.

Published on:

The family of a young Chicago woman who was struck and killed by a large tour bus in Chicago back in May of 2011 has settled in connection with their wrongful death lawsuit against those responsible.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the young woman, who was 26 years old at the time of the bus accident, was leaving work in the Streeterville area of Chicago and was crossing the street at the time of the accident. Video footage show that the young victim was crossing at a green light and at a crosswalk and then also shows a bus turning right onto the street that she was crossing and striking her and running her over. The bus driver claimed that he did not see the young girl in the street and in turn was unable to stop and avoid hitting her as she crossed the street.

Following the accident, the tour bus driver tested positive for cocaine and also his record revealed that he was wanted in connection with two cases relating to child sexual abuse. The tour bus driver also has near 20 traffic violations in the previous 20 years and had only been with the tour bus company for about 6 months when the terrible accident occurred. The driver currently remains in jail awaiting a trial on criminal charges in connection with the accident (a reckless homicide charge) as well as his child abuse charges.

Published on:

The operator of the crane that was involved in the terrible building collapse that occurred earlier this month is expected to face very serious charges, including manslaughter and reckless endangerment for his involvement in the tragic building collapse incident. The incident occurred when crane workers were attempting to tear down a building as part of a large-scale redevelopment program. During the demolition process, the building that was being demolished ended up collapsing directly into a store next door that was open for business at the time of the crash. When the building collapsed, six people were killed and fourteen more suffered severe personal injuries. After the collapse, there was a thirty hour search and rescue operation in place to try to help and save as many injured as possible and the streets in a ten block stretch near the demolition site were shut down as part of the rescue mission.

A routine inspection prior to the demolition resulted in no violations found, however there had been some complaints about the working conditions in the area that may not have been followed up on as thoroughly as they should have. The owner’s of the building had all of the proper permits and the building itself had no previous code or other violations against it at the time of the collapse.

Currently, one of the main focuses in the investigation is the crane operator. At the time of the building collapse the crane operator had marijuana in his system, and has admitted to taking codeine and other prescription drugs prior to the building collapse. Previous court records show that the crane operator has been arrested ten times for various offenses including prior drug charges. According to witnesses, the way in which the building was being taken down looked like some type of collapse was inevitable, which is what happened to the huge wall that completely gave out at a certain point during the knock down process.