The subject matter of this article involves a fall from a second-floor porch resulting in Willens Law Office filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit. For privacy and active litigation reasons, the names of the deceased, the representative of the deceased’s estate (the Plaintiff), and the Defendants will be kept confidential.
The subject fall occurred approximately two years ago. Willens & Baez was recently retained by the Plaintiff to pursue all available damages under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act (740 ILCS 180/1) the Illinois Survival Act (735 ILCS 5/13-209 and 735 ILCS 5/27-6) as well as Illinois Family Expense Statute (750 ILCS 65/15).
Prior to his fall, the deceased was on his apartment porch in Chicago’s “Back of the Yards” neighborhood, a diverse generally blue-collar community. Prior to the subject accident, the porch was in a condition that had been cited by the City of Chicago for failing to rebuild or replace the dilapidated and dangerous porch. Approximately one year prior to the subject railing collapse, the defendants were cited for failing to comply with Sections 13-196-570 and 13-196-641 of the Municipal Code of the City of Chicago. Regarding the porch, the City inspector noted “All railings too low (24” to 28”). These railings deflect under load. There are no floor joist hangers. All structural columns are over notched. The column sections are joined by insufficient (12” /2 bolt) lap joints. There are multiple loose stair treads. There are broken and missing pickets. The stair flight width is too narrow at 24”. The banister sections have no intermediated posts. The structural columns have insufficient footings and are set on either makeshift wood footings or directly onto the ground (soil). This porch is beyond repair and is Dangerous and Hazardous. Tear down and replace it with new. Plans and permits are required.”
Despite the porch being classified as “Dangerous and Hazardous” the defendants did not do anything to make the porch safer. As a result, a man, a brother, a friend fell through the dangerous railing. He survived for several days but he eventually succumbed to his massive injuries.
The civil lawsuit filed by Willens & Baez seeks to hold the defendants accountable through compensation under the law. The suit seeks monetary damages for medical expenses, funeral expenses, harm sustained from the decedent from the time of the incident to the time of his death, loss of support, comfort, and companionship of the decedent.
Says David A. Baez, one of the partners at Willens & Baez working on this matter, “This tragic incident could have been avoided if the defendants had used reasonable care in the maintenance of their property.” Says Willens, “While the ultimate justice would be to turn back the hands of time so this incident never would have occurred, we can’t do that. What we intend to do is use our experience, our skills, and our resources to hold the defendants liable and bring this grieving family some peace of mind.”