Our Chicago construction accident attorneys are all too familiar with the potential hazards faced by Chicago construction and utility workers. Yesterday, tragedy struck two such workers and their families.
According to several news reports, one worker is dead and another was critically injured following an explosion in a construction hole in the Chicago West Loop. Reports indicate that the two workers were Peoples Energy employees conducting an air pressure test underneath the street at the time of the explosion.
The accident occurred yesterday afternoon around 1:30 pm at Jackson Blvd. and Wacker Dr. in Chicago. According to Fire Media Affairs spokesman, Quention Curtis, the utility employees were conducting an underground test when an explosion occurred, and the men were taken by firefighters to John H. Stroger Cook County Hospital, initially in critical condition. “They were pumping air through the system when something went wrong,” Curtis said. “It blew the pipe apart and it hit them.”
What, exactly, “went wrong” remains to be determined. Peoples Energy confirmed it had crews at the scene investigating the accident. A Peoples Energy spokeswoman confirmed crews were at the scene investigating, but did not provide further information.
There are various potential legal causes of action that may arise out of this tragic accident sounding in product liability, premises liability, construction negligence and wrongful death. Although a direct cause of action against the worker’s employer, Peoples Energy, would be precluded based on the Illinois Workers Compensation Act, there may be other viable third-party defendants, including general contractors or subcontractors, private property owners, or the City of Chicago.
A top Chicago personal injury lawyer will not only investigate the law to determine all viable causes of action and viable defendants, but will also conduct a thorough factual investigation to determine what happened — what caused the explosion? At Passen & Powell, we consult with top private investigators and engineers as part of our factual investigation into such an occurrence.
For a Free Consultation with an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney at Passen & Powell, call us at (312) 527-4500.