Tragedy struck early Wednesday morning in Chicago at a Lincoln Park apartment building. The accident, which transpired roughly around 9:45 a.m., occurred when a water tank plummeted off a 9-story apartment complex – ultimately collapsing onto several unsuspecting witnesses below. Two of the injured parties were in the process of moving out of the building next door when the water tank crashed down on top of their vehicle.
As a result, a man was swept up by the water and dragged across the concrete, all the while, his girlfriend was carried by the surge of water into a nearby stairwell. The woman, who was the most critically injured in this accident, was subsequently struck by debris from the water tank. Lakeview Patch reports that upon the arrival of the paramedics, the woman was not moving and unresponsive. She is currently listed in critical condition at an area hospital.
The third injured party in this devastating accident was an employee at a nearby daycare. The woman was taking out the trash in the alleyway when she was swept away upon the collapse of the water tank. Fortunately her injuries were less severe and she was released from the hospital later that day.
Further investigation into this accident has revealed that the apartment complex has shared a long history of failed inspections, as well as, building code violations. One of the most recent inspections, held in 2010, uncovered that the water tank violated at least two of Chicago’s building codes.
According to the City of Chicago’s Department of Buildings, as a result of their numerous violations the apartment building had been ordered to “relocate steels banks to original position on water tank” as well as “submit two copies of structural engineering report prepare, signed, and sealed by a licensed architect or registered structural engineer about the water tank.”
While it is unclear whether or not the building complied with the orders imposed by the City of Chicago to fix and maintain the water tank, our Illinois injury attorneys believe that this was an accident that could have been avoided through routine maintenance and proper oversight by the apartment building’s management. According to CityofChicago.com, the city created the Department of Buildings as a necessary means of enforcing the Chicago Building Code in an effort to improve and preserve the safety and quality of life of Chicago’s residents and visitors.
Disastrous accidents, such as the one previously mentioned, can occur when individuals fails to adhere to the guidelines set out by city ordinances. Often times, when an individual is injured or even killed as a result of another’s negligent actions – whether intentional or not – civil litigation may provide helpful relief.
Our Chicago injury lawyers have extensively handled cases on behalf of individuals who have been injured or harmed as a direct result of negligent building owners. In one case, our attorneys obtained a $6 million settlement on behalf the families of six young children who perished in a disastrous fire on Chicago’s North Side. During our firm’s diligent investigation, it was determined that the building violated numerous Chicago Municipal Codes, including failure to have proper and working smoke detectors in the building.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident due to a property owner’s negligence, please contact us to discuss what legal options may be available to you.