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David J. Brassfield
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Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed in Illinois Sanitary Accident

Forty-two-year-old Roger Creason was tragically killed last October in an explosion that occurred at the Springfield Metro Sanitary District’s Sugar Creek Plant, according to a recent State Journal Register news report. Creason’s widow has filed a wrongful death suit against an engineering firm, a manufacturer and two contracting firms. Mr. Creason, of Riverton, was a long-time member of the Laborers Local 477 and was one of the workers helping to construct the building. The accident occurred when Creason was working on a 52-inch pipe when a joint tester used to verify the seals caused the pipe to explode and the testing machine to shift, injuring him. After six days in the hospital, Creason succumbed to his injuries.

Wrongful Death Claims in Illinois

Under Illinois law, a wrongful death charge may be brought against the individual(s) responsible for the tragedy. A private or public agency liable for the tragedy may also be named as a defendant. Public agencies may include, but are not limited to: a city, county or state; city or state correctional facility; and law enforcement agency; and a state or private school, hospital, or nursing home. According to state law the spouse, surviving children or other next of kin may initiate a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a loved one.

Wrongful death cases are subject to statutes of limitations, or time limits for when a suit can be filed or it will be barred forever. Illinois law requires that a wrongful death suit be filed within the time limit set by the statute of limitations for the underlying type of case, or within one year of the date of the victim’s death, whichever is later. For this reason, it is important to contact a seasoned wrongful death attorney immediately to preserve any legal rights.

Establishing Wrongful Death & Damages

The burden falls on the plaintiff, or the party filing the lawsuit to establish that a wrongful death occurred. In a wrongful death claim, a plaintiff must prove the following:

  • Defendant was negligent or strictly liable for the victim’s death;
  • Wrongful death was caused (in whole or in part) by the acts of the defendant;
  • Victim has a surviving spouse, children, dependents or beneficiaries; and
  • Damages (economic and non-economic) resulted from the death of the victim.

The types of damages typically sought in a wrongful death claim by an Illinois wrongful death attorney include:

  • General damages;
  • Punitive damages (if willful and wanton conduct);
  • Loss of inheritance as a result of untimely death;
  • Loss of future wages (until retirement or natural death);
  • Pain and suffering, both leading up to victim’s death and for survivors;and
  • Expenses associated with the wrongful death, such as medical and funeral costs;

Legal Help in Illinois

The tragedy of a wrongful death case should not be further complicated by navigating the legal process alone. If someone you know has died as the result of another’s negligence, contact a Rockford wrongful death attorney today learn preserve the rights of the victim’s survivors under Illinois law. The attorneys at the Brassfield & Krueger, Ltd. will protect survivors’ interests with sensitivity and legal knowledge, guiding clients through every part of this difficult process. Click here today to schedule your initial, free, consultation.

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