Fighting From Beyond the Grave

Posted on November 9th, 2017 by Bradley Dworkin

Some cases tug on the heartstrings a bit more than others. One of our attorneys had a case that was particularly heartbreaking. A young man, married with three young children, was the fatal victim of a horrifying company error. After the deadly event his family hired our attorney to represent the deceased.

The client had been employed through a staffing company and was fulfilling a work order for a trucking company that regularly hired employees from the staffing company in question. The task at hand was for the client and a coworker to clean a tanker car that had been used to haul a certain chemical, thus preparing the tanker to haul a different chemical in the future.

Due to a fatal mistake in recordkeeping, our client and his coworker were given improper equipment and cleaning supplies, as well as the incorrect information regarding the nature of the chemical. The vapor from the cleaning products and the residue of the chemical in the tanker mixed and caused a flash fire explosion, instantly killing the client’s coworker and inflicting third-degree burns over 97 percent of his body. Despite being rushed to the hospital, the client sadly perished, leaving his wife a widow with three children.

Our attorney ascertained both the trucking company and the staffing company as at-fault for the death of the client.

The trucking company and the staffing company pointed the finger to each other when it came to accepting responsibility for the devastating travesty. The truck company claimed they were not responsible because the two deceased were not their actual employees. They also, sickeningly, tried to place blame on the client because he’d tested positive for marijuana metabolites before he passed away. They completely skirted the fact that their paperwork was incorrect and the ultimate cause. The client’s only fault was following the exact instructions of the trucking company. Further our attorney noted it did not matter under Illinois law that the employee was working at the trucking company, the staffing company still employed our client for the job that resulted in his death.

The ruling was in favor of our attorney’s position. The victim’s family was awarded death benefits. This helped his family pay for the funeral of their beloved, and assist in the payment of medical bills. Not only that, but the victim’s family was also awarded setting up an appropriate estate and trust accounts for the three minors. During the pendency of this case the widow was left with no income for the better part of 18 months, but our attorney was able to assist her in getting the necessary funding to keep her and her children comfortable while litigation continued. Ultimately the widow received over $8 million in the settlement against the trucking company.

One of our main missions at Dworkin & Maciariello is to give a voice to the victims of disastrous circumstances. Too often corporations or insurance companies try to quiet victim’s needs and make them feel unworthy of their rights. We fight to hold these entities responsible and get the best results possible in the state of Illinois. This unfortunate case is one of many across the country where tenacious action is necessary to receive justice.

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