The Chicago and Berwyn Premises Liability Lawyers at Grazian and Volpe have written extensively of the complexities involved where a workers’ compensation and third party personal injury liability claim co-exist. This recent lawsuit highlights these issues in a tragically.
A fourteen year old girl and her co-worker were electrocuted in July while removing tassels from corn at an Illinois farm near Tampico. They were employed by Monsanto. Both teenagers were killed when they came into contact with a field irrigator while working. An investigation into the incident indicates that there was an appreciated and understood electrical problem with the connection to the irrigation system but that nothing had been done to correct the hazard. At the time of the deaths, about 72 people were detasseling corn and two other teenagers were seriously injured and six other workers were treated for non-life threatening injuries.
The lawsuit alleges that Monsanto knew about problems with the field’s irrigation equipment and failed to repair the issues. The owner of the property had given instructions that the electricity should be shut off but it was not done. OSHA is currently investigating the incident and Monsanto has denied the decedent’s claims. ConEd has also been named as defendant. Apparently, the electric meter had been struck and damaged by lightening and the suit alleges negligence in failure to repair.
We will be monitoring this case to see how it impacts issues of workers’ injury law, personal injury law and premises liability law. The issues presented by the combination of these causes of action will be instructional in filing similiar suits on behalf of our clients. The Chicago and South Chicago Accident Lawyers at Grazian and Volpe wish the best of luck and our sympathies to the victims and their families.