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Power Rogers & Smith, L.L.P. Result: $8.1M, $400K Settlements Over Fatal Falling Debris Accident

Power Rogers & Smith, L.L.P. has secured an $8.1 million settlement on behalf of the family of a 25-year-old man who was killed in a fatal workplace incident, and a $400,000 settlement on behalf of his coworker, who suffered injuries in the same occurrence.

The case stems from an incident in December 2013, when the two men had been on a worksite demolishing an exterior wall for a soon-to-be restaurant at the then Westfield Hawthorn Mall in Vernon Hills. While performing their work, both men were struck by concrete which had fallen from the roof.

The 25-year-old man was killed as a result of being struck by the falling pieces of concrete, and his coworker suffered injuries to his head, elbow, and arm.

Attorneys Joseph A. Power Jr., Sean M. Houlihan, and James I. Power represented both men in their lawsuits, which were eventually consolidated in Cook County Circuit Court. Our legal team’s claims focused on the negligence of the contractors involved in the demolition project, as well as the mall and its property management company, project owner, and demolition subcontractor.

In an article from the Chicago Law Bulletin, Attorney Power said the incident could and should have been prevented had the defendants taken proper precautionary steps, including completing an engineering survey before working on the building, as required by the project manual and OSHA.

Although the defense argued an inspection completed prior to demolition work was sufficient, our firm’s attorneys were able to establish otherwise, which resulted in two recoveries:

  • An $8.1 million settlement for the family of the young man who was killed and
  • A $400,000 settlement for the surviving worker who suffered multiple injuries in the accident.

The repercussions of this workplace incident were nothing short of tragic, and they demanded legal action. As Attorney Power tells the Chicago Law Bulletin, these tragedies remind us all about the importance of ensuring employers and all parties on worksites adequately address the many dangers workers face:

“You never think about the dangers your children are exposed to when they do these kinds of jobs.”

Read more on our press release. 

A Firm Fighting for Families Across Illinois

Power Rogers & Smith, L.L.P. has become one of the most trusted personal injury law firms in Chicago, and one of the most respected civil trial practices in the State of Illinois. Led by Joseph A. Power, who serves and the President of the Inner Circle, an elite professional organization comprised of the top 100 trial attorneys in the nation, of which partners Larry R. Rogers, Jr. and Todd A. Smith are also members, our firm has been able to help clients across the state secure more than $4 billion in compensation in a range of complex and high-stakes claims.

Learn more about our award-winning legal team, or call (312) 313-0202 or contact us online to speak with an attorney.

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