Veteran Files Lawsuit After Nearly Losing His Foot in Forklift Accident at Chicago’s McCormick Place

An Army National Guard veteran filed a lawsuit against the management company that runs McCormick Place and others after he almost lost a foot as a result of an alleged forklift accident. The 30-year-old veteran claims he was working in McCormick Place following a large machine trade show when he was unexpectedly knocked to the ground by a forklift. Before he could move, the forklift reportedly ran over his left foot. As a result of the September incident, the veteran allegedly underwent four surgeries in an effort to save the foot. Doctors were reportedly required to remove the man’s left heel and he will likely require additional surgery before he can walk again.

In his lawsuit, the injured man claims the facility failed to provide sufficient safety controls and adequate staffing levels for the exhibition teardown. According to the veteran, the forklift that struck him had no safety spotter. He stated this was unacceptable due to the speed at which the teardown process occurs. In addition, his lawsuit reportedly questions whether state-mandated work-rule changes that allow McCormick Place to use smaller labor crews in an effort to cut exhibitor costs and make the venue more attractive to trade shows compromised the safety of vendors and others. The changes purportedly took effect in fall 2011 and mandated the use of smaller teardown crews.

According to the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, the agency that owns McCormick Place, safety is a high priority at the venue. Still, the nation’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is currently investigating the injury accident. In his complaint, the veteran alleged that he was injured as a result of negligence and asked for at least $350,000 in damages. The injured man stated his number one goal in filing the lawsuit, however, is to encourage better safety at the facility.

Normally, all serious workplace accidents are investigated by OSHA. Although most workplace accidents in Illinois are subject to state Workers’ Compensation laws, an injured worker or the family of someone who died as a result of the actions of a third party may be entitled to recover additional financial compensation for their damages. Regardless of the cause, an employee who was injured in an accident at work in Illinois is authorized to receive the costs related to any required medical treatment, disability pay, and compensation for any wounds that resulted. If you were hurt in a workplace accident, you are advised to contact a qualified personal injury lawyer to discuss your options for recovery.

If you were hurt in an unexpected accident at work or elsewhere, you should call the experienced attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. today at (312) 475-9596. Our capable Chicago area work injury lawyers are available every day of the week to answer your questions and help you file your case. For a free consultation with a dedicated attorney, do not hesitate to contact Abels & Annes, P.C. through the law firm’s website.

Note: Abels & Annes, P.C. does not represent the victim in the above mentioned lawsuit.

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Additional Resources:

McCormick Place forklift accident leaves veteran seriously injured, by Kathy Bergen, Chicago Tribune

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