A 54-year-old wife and mother of two who had been working for a thrift store in Washington Heights for more than 25 years lost her life to an accidental shooting on March 7. She was sorting through some donated clothing items with a male co-worker as part of her job at the South Ashland Avenue facility. Inside a sock, the co-worker found a .22 caliber handgun that, when the man shook it out of the sock, accidentally discharged, hitting the woman in the chest.
The woman was transported by emergency responders to Oak Lawn's Advocate Christ Medical Center, but succumbed to the bullet wound just before 10:30 p.m. The shooting death was investigated by Area South police and agents from the U.S. Department of Labor. All signs point to the shooting being accidental, according to police.
The thrift shop said in an issued statement that the company's employees are saddened by the tragic accident. It also said that she had been an award-winning long-term and beneficial employee with the store. Both customers and other workers expressed their shock and sadness in response to the incident. Her husband said that he hopes that it might bring about better treatment of workers by the thrift store.
A store worker being involved fatal accident while on the job could be grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. The family who lost their loved one could be entitled to compensation for the loss of her income and the cost of medical bills and final expenses. A personal injury attorney could provide assistance with preparing the case or filing a workers' compensation claim on behalf of the worker's family.
Source: Daily Mail, "Thrift store worker killed while sorting through clothing when a gun hidden in a donated SOCK accidentally fires," March 8, 2014
Source: KTRK-TV, "Gun hidden in sock kills woman at thrift store in Chicago", March 09, 2014