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A deadly fire killed 120 people at a poultry plant in China where the workplace safety agency blamed the negligence of government inspectors and factory managers for the poor working conditions.

Lucy Managers at the Jilin Baoyuanfeng Poultry Co. did not hold the required safety drills or educate workers on safety procedures according to Yang Dongliang, the State Administration of Work Safety head. He also reported that the safety exits were blocked at the time of the fire. Not only were the workers irresponsible, but the local government departments also failed to make proper inspections, said Yang.

These accusations about this industrial accident, which is the deadliest in five years, will most likely lead to many court cases involving government officials and high-ranked employees of the Poultry Co.

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Lucy Recently , an Illinois Appellate Court decided to prevent a widow from suing her husband’s employer for negligence. This decision was based on the previous similar case Rodriguez v. Frankie’s Beef/Pasta & Catering. Allegedly, a Frankie’s employee, Jose Rodriguez, got into an argument with a co-worker and the two were sent home by the manager on duty. The following day, instead of reporting to work, the co-worker showed up and shot and killed Jose Rodriguez.

Mr. Rodriguez’s widow attempted to sue Frankie’s Beef/Pasta Catering, claiming that the restaurant was negligent in hiring the employee that killed her husband. The trial court, however, dismissed the lawsuit, stating that she cannot bring about a suit against an employer after the employer is already obligated to pay the workers’ compensation benefits.

Workers’ Compensation provides compensation to employees or their families after an employee has sustained an injury or has died at the workplace or in the course of employment.

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The day after Thanksgiving in 2007, State trooper Matt Mitchell changed many lives. He was driving over 120 mph as well as using his cellphone and sending e-mails on his computer instead of focusing on controlling his vehicle. While on Interstate 64 in southwestern Illinois, Mitchell’s car crossed over the median and crashed into a car travelling in the opposite direction.

In that car were sisters Jessica Uhl, 18, and Kelli Uhl, 13 from Collinsville were killed from the resulting crash. Another crash resulted from the initial car accident . A car carrying Kelly Marler and his pregnant wife Christine from Fayetteville, IL suffered injuries from the secondary car accident. Mitchell had plead guilty to two counts of reckless homicide for the deaths of the Uhl sisters and two counts of aggravated reckless driving for the injuries sustained by the Marlers. The sentence amounted to 30 months of probation and a revoked license.

The former Illinois State Police Officer Mitchell is trying to receive worker’s compensation benefits because he also sustained injuries from the car accidents. After his first application from 2011 and his subsequent appeal this July, Mitchell is still not going to receive workman’s compensation. The commission’s final ruling upheld that the accident caused by Mitchell was due to his wanton and reckless behavior. Arbitrator Jennifer Teague found that Mitchell’s actions were “egregiously outside the scope of employment.”

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According to an article published in November in the Chicago Tribune , Illinois officials failed to investigate 85 percent of the 560 hospital complaints filed in 2010. According to charges alleged by the Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission , the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) let the ball drop on its obligations, including a handful of serious complaints against patient abuse and wrongful death. Created in 1877, the IDPH is responsible for protecting the state’s 12.4 million residents and maintains nearly 200 programs that influence public health in the state. One of these programs is meant to uphold a federal law that states claims against hospital abuse must be investigated within 48 hours of filing.

According to the Tribune , Illinois regulators said that their failure to investigate was a problem of funding. Though the agency spent nearly $500,000 on hospital oversight last year, half of which was in the form of federal funds, serious complaints (such as one patient who required preventative treatment for HIV after having been pricked by a dirty needle at Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital) went uninvestigated. The health department has proposed a solution that would require hospitals, like nursing homes, to pay an annual fee to help fund the cost of such investigations, though the Illinois Hospital Association has blocked the measure.

If you or someone you know has been affected by hospital negligence, contact the experienced team of Medical Malpractice lawyers at Discipio Law. While most doctors are exemplary, mistakes happen and we’re here to help you seek the compensation you deserve.

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The holidays are a great time for sitting around the fireplace with family, enjoying lights strung on a live tree, leaving a turkey to roast in the oven while heading out to enjoy festive activities. The holidays are also a notorious time for house fires, and the 2011 Thanksgiving to New Years season is no exception. The most devastating story this year came out of Stamford Connecticut , in which three young girls (7-year-old twins Grace and Sarah and 9-year-old Lily) and their grandparents died at 3am on Christmas morning. Homeowner Madonna Badger, a New York City advertising executive, is separated from her husband Matthew; her boyfriend, Michael Borcina, is thought to have been responsible for the fire, having left still-smoldering fireplace embers into a bag that he left by the mudroom door. The $1.725 million home was razed early in the week following the fire, and officials do not expect to press criminal charges.

The three young victims of the house fire in Stamford, CT with their father. (Image from nytimes.com).

Earlier this season, a home in the West Lawn neighborhood of Chicago was flattened in an explosion that critically injured the homeowners—Pedro and Oyola Sepulveda—and burned one more. This explosion was not necessarily related to holiday activities, but instead due to a possible gas leak. The Sepulveda’s house, along with most others on the block, are customers of Peoples Gas, who sent crews to join police and fire units to turn off gas supply mains in a three block area. No other homes in the area were affected, much to the relief of many onlookers, who thought the massive blaze would surely spread.

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