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Chicago sewer worker fearful of conditions prior to accident

The sewer worker who died Sept. 18 in Chicago told his family that although he loved his job, he feared his working conditions. The man, who worked for a local construction company, was swept away by rushing waters in a fatal accident that occurred when heavy rains covered the area where he was working and entered the sewer system. The man's employer said the cause of the accident was not yet known.

Federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration officials are investigating the incident. Chicago Fire Department personnel used a remote-control camera to locate the man, who was found about a block from his original working location after he was swept away. He was wearing a wetsuit. He was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Newspaper reports indicated that a man ran up to the scene when the body was recovered saying that the sewer worker was his son. Police had to restrain the man, who was comforted by the deceased man's co-workers. According to comments made by the victim's relatives, the man may have realized prior to the accident that he often worked in dangerous circumstances.

By interviewing members of the victim's family, experienced personal injury attorneys may be able to determine whether the construction company was guilty of negligence. If that possibility exists, lawyers may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the man's estate. Survivors filing such lawsuits may be able to receive compensation for the fatal accident from the construction company and other entities deemed liable in this fatal accident.

Source: Chicago Sun Times, "Worker killed in flood loved - and feared - job in the sewers", Steffano Esposito and Mitch Dudek, September 19, 2013

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