Category Archives: Workplace Injury

Jury Returns $180 Million Verdict in Silo Fire Case

A federal jury in Southern Illinois returned a $180 million verdict in a case involving a fire at a grain elevator which severely burned three employees.  In March, 2010, a chemical reaction started with the grain pellets in the silo sending a peculiar smell and smoke through the grain elevator complex.  The employees arrived on the scene to clean the silo.  On April 27, 2010, a plant supervisor advised the workers to pull out their equipment so that the fire department could enter the silo.  The silo then exploded.  One employee John Jentz, was burned over 70 % of his body.  Since the fire, he has underwent multiple skin grafts.  Because of his injuries, Jentz no longer has sweat glands.  Thus, he has to be in climate controlled environments because his body cannot regulate its temperature.  Of the total amount of the verdict, the jury awarded $100 million in punitive damages.  The defendant has vowed that it will appeal.  The Law Offices of Eugene K. Hollander handled a similar case, Ibarra v. Pactiv Corporation, wherein the Plaintiff, an ironworker, was burned over 60% of his body when a fencepost from a sliding gate came into contact with an overhead electrical power line.  The case settled before trial.

Movie Extra Settles Personal Injury Claim for $18.5 Million

A 26 year old woman who worked on the movie set of Transformers, and who was injured on set, settled her claim against with Paramount Pictures and DW Studio Productions for $18.5 million.  On September 1, 2010, Gabriela Cedillo was an extra on the set when a cable and its metal bracket broke loose from a stunt vehicle and crashed into a car that Cedillo was in, striking her head.  Cedillo has subsequently suffered from significant brain impairment.  Cedillo requires 24 hour care.  Cedillo also has a pending worker's compensation claim.

Family Sues in Death of Firefighter

The children of a Chicago firefighter filed a wrongful death lawsuit accusing the owners of an abandoned building for negligence when the roof collapsed during a firefight.  The incident happened on December 22, 2010.  Edward Stringer responded to the fire at the site of the former Sing Way Cleaners.  Notably, the owner of the building had received numerous building code citations since 1987.

Downstate Jury Returns Verdict of $13.5 Million for Crushed Leg

A jury in Tazewell County, Illinois returned a verdict for $13.5 million in favor of a construction worker whose leg was crushed while he was working on work trusses.  The worker, Dustin Stone, underwent a partial amputation as a result of the injury.  The main defendant was the manufacturer of a machine which Stone was working on.  The worker was responsible for hammering metal plates into wood trusses that were spread out on a table.  The machine trapped and crushed Stone's left femur against a metail rail.  Stone claimed that the machine was defective and that a safety bar malfunctioned.  An appeal is expected.