Archive for the ‘wrongful death’ tag

Unsafe work environment causes deadly fire in China

June 20th, 2013 at 8:36 am

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.

The cause of the fire has not officially been announced, but it is most likely to have been caused by and explosion that came from leaking ammonia. The fire began at a time when there were about 350 employees inside the building.

120 employees died, 77 were hospitalized due to injuries and another 17 were temporarily missing, although they were all found alive. Only one door was open for the employees to escape, and many were trampled by their fearful co-workers.

Employees’ families will most likely be compensated by the company for the loss of life and injuries of their family members.

Often times, workplace injuries do not occur in large incidents due to a massive wipe out of employees in a top news story. Just because employers are not put on the spot to correct poor and dangerous practices does not mean that workplace accidents do not happen or do not need to be corrected.

If you are the victim of workplace malpractice that has led to you becoming injured, contact a workers’ compensation attorney to file a claim. Attorneys at the Law Office of Francis J Discipio in Cook County, Ill. can help you today.


Photo courtesy of think4photop/FreeDigitalPhotos.com

Worker’s Comp Case Overturned for Former State Police Officer

August 8th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

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.”

Causation is a major factor in any worker’s compensation claim.  Unfortunately for Mitchell, the conditions of his employment were not the cause of his injuries; rather it was by his own actions that he was injured.  If you feel that the conditions which you work under have caused you to be injured, you may be eligible to receive worker’s compensation.  First, notify your employer of your injury and receive the treatment that you need.  After, make sure you have a skilled worker’s compensation lawyer in DuPage County that will be dedicated to fighting for your rights.

Rockford Families’ Train Settlement

October 26th, 2011 at 4:07 pm

On Friday, June 19, 2009, a train with 114 cars, including 74 tankers filled with ethanol, was traveling from Freeport, Illinois to Chicago. As it approached Rockford, Jose Tellez, his wife Zoila and their pregnant daughter were in the family car, stopped at a train crossing on the south side of the railroad tracks behind the lowered gates, waiting for the train to pass.

What happened while they were waiting was tragic.  Eighteen train cars carrying millions of gallons of ethanol derailed near the intersection where the Tellez family waited.  The derailed cars exploded in a fireball that engulfed the unsuspecting family.

All three members of the Tellez family sustained terrible burns as they tried to flee to safety.  Zoila was killed from the burns and the couple’s pregnant daughter, Adriana, lost her baby. Zoila Tellez is survived by her husband Jose; daughters Adriana, 19; Lisette, 17; Cristal, 14; and Elvira, 11.

The derailment was found to be caused by a washed-out portion of track. Before the derailment, the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department had informed the Canadian National Railway that the dangerous condition existed.  Twenty minutes before the derailment, the Winnebago County 911 center had phoned the Canadian company at its headquarters in Montreal, Canada and warned officials that a portion of the track, which turned out to be near the derailment, had been washed out.

In documents and witness testimony, it was acknowledged that the engineer of the train had seen adverse conditions on the track ahead but instead of slowing down, the engineer actually sped the train up.  This was found to be a direct cause of the fiery crash.

Due to his negligence and the disregard shown by the Canadian National Railway the Tellez family experienced horrible losses.  The company has settled out of court to the sum of $13.75 million to Adriana Tellez and $22.5 million to Jose.  While these sums of money never replace losing a loved one to a terrible accident, they do help families deal with the burdens that these tragedies cause.  It is important to have an experienced and dedicated personal injury lawyer in your corner.


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