Chicago Wrongful Death - The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

Wrongful Death in Chicago

Wrongful Death is when a person dies as a result of the negligence or misconduct of another person, company or entity. A wrongful death action is typically commenced by the deceased's immediate family members, such as the victim’s spouse, children or parents. The family members can file a wrongful death claim whether the loved one's death was accidental or intentional. The most common types of wrongful death cases occur from medical malpractice, car accidents, or criminal behavior. If a loved one has died and you feel that someone else may be responsible, a Chicago Personal Injury lawyer can help you understand if you have a personal injury case.


Recently in Wrongful Death Category

Chicago River Tragedy: 1 Dead, 1 Missing

A recent Chicago River tragedy involving three friends and a dropped cell phone is a grim reminder to people in the area to never step onto the icy river. Sadly, for the victims in this tragedy, that realization came too little too late.

Could the city face liability for the death?

When Can You Sue An Employer for Wrongful Death?

When can you sue an employer for wrongful death? After a devastating crash that left three Chicago residents (a wife, husband, and their friend) dead, this question is one of many on the minds of the remaining family members, the Chicago Tribune reports.

All three victims, Won Suk Lim, 56, his wife Jung Ran Min, 50, and their friend, Gwi Rye Kim, 65, were in the same car when a Village of Skokie garbage truck struck the car, promptly engulfing the crushed car in flames. Kim's son, the administrator of her estate, has filed a lawsuit against the garbage truck company.

Here's a general overview of when you can sue an employer for wrongful death:

Can You Sue the Police for Wrongful Death?

Police officers usually have broad powers to carry out their duties. However, police officers go too far sometimes. When this happens, the victim of the misconduct might have remedies available under federal and state laws.

In Illinois, the Illinois Wrongful Death Act allows victims to sue for a number of different actions that include police misconduct or use of deadly force.

So while officers may have qualified immunity, they can also potentially be held liable for wrongful death.

Sonia Eli died of an overdose of prescription medications while being cared for by the Rainbow Beach Nursing Center. According to the Chicago Tribune, two doctors each saw Eli and filled out their own prescriptions for treatment. The combination was lethal.

While some might call that an unfortunate accident, others would label it malpractice and negligence. The family chose the latter when it sued the nursing home earlier this week. While accidents do happen in medicine, and not all will result in liability, recovery for medical malpractice requires proof that the care provided fell below the standard of the what the ordinary treating physician would have done.

Last year, Jitka Vesel was tragically murdered by a stalker in Chicago. Vesel met her murderer, Demetry Smirnov, online - three years before she was murdered. The two dated for mere weeks before she broke it off. Two-and-a-half years later, he showed up to her workplace and murdered her in cold blood, reports the Daily Beast.

Smirinov used a .40 caliber handgun which purchased from a private seller, also found online, via Armslist, a firearms classified site.  Much like Craigslist, Armslist is a completely neutral online marketplace. All ads, transactions, and purchases are done through the users. The website even has a disclaimer that must be agreed to before entering that requires all users to comply with the law when dealing between themselves.

Over the summer, a deadly outbreak of Legionnaire's disease at the J.W. Marriott in Chicago's South Loop infected at least 10 people. Three people died. Estimates of the number of people exposed are as high as 8,500. Now, a second wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against Marriott International and Prime Group, Inc., the group that managed the hotel.

The bacterial infection is caused by exposure to water vapor that carries the bacteria. The symptoms, such as headache, fever, chills, cough, chest pain and shortness of breath, mimic those of pneumonia, making diagnosis more difficult. Most people do not become ill upon exposure, but those with compromised immune systems, such as the elderly, are more vulnerable. The fatality rate is between 5 percent and 30 percent.

Meningitis-tainted steroid injections, typically used to alleviate back pain, made their way to Chicago, reports The Associated Press.

The compounding pharmacy-produced injections are suspected of causing a meningitis outbreak that has claimed five lives, sickened at least 35, and could affect thousands of others. So far, meningitis cases have been reported in six states: Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Florida, North Carolina and Indiana. However, shipments were made to 23 states in all.

According to the AP, the dirty drugs were formulated at a compounding pharmacy in Massachusetts, the New England Compounding Center. These types of pharmacies typically produce unique combinations or dosages of drugs that aren't available commercially. For example, they might provide a pain reliever in a lozenge (cough drop) form instead of a pill.

Carlos Centeno Sr. was sent to clean a tank filled with heated citric acid. According to his family, he was not given gloves or a mask, nor was he warned properly about the danger. When chemicals erupted from the tank and covered Centeno, he was burned on more than 80 percent of his body.

Though his skin was peeling from the burns, no ambulance was called, nor were the chemicals sprayed off in a safety shower. After about 30 minutes, a co-worker finally took Centeno to the hospital. He died less than a month later from the burns, reports Courthouse News Service.

A $1 million verdict for a deceased man's unlawful detention by Chicago police has been reduced to $250,000, Courthouse News Service reports.

The case dates back to 2008, when Donald Wells caused a fatal crash. Wells was first taken to a hospital, but a few hours later, police threw Wells behind bars. He was left there for two days without medical care.

When police decided to release Wells, they found him in medical distress. Wells was taken to a hospital where he died of multiple organ failure.

Wells' widow sued, and a jury awarded her $1.15 million. Why did she win, and why was her award reduced?

Tonya Reaves, 24, went to Planned Parenthood in the Loop on the morning of July 20 for a dilation and evacuation abortion. By the end of the night, she was dead. The events during the day, though still disputed, are beginning to paint a picture of possible negligence.

Reaves had the initial abortion procedure at 11 a.m., according to WBBM Newsradio. Five and a half hours later, she was rushed to the hospital because of continued bleeding. An ultrasound and second abortion was performed at 5:30 p.m. The bleeding and pain continued. A perforation, or small hole, was found in her uterus. She was taken in for surgery at 10:12 p.m., when an uncontrollable bleed was discovered. She was pronounced dead at 11:20 p.m.