David S. Jasmer
Setting the Standard in Personal Injury
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Worker dies from electrocution while working on Brown Line

A man working for the Chicago Transit Authority lost his life on May 16 while on the job in Lincoln Park. The 30-year-old contract worker, who lived in Midlothian, was electrocuted when the bucket lift that he was in touched a power line.

According to Chicago Police, the accident occurred just before 5 p.m. on West North Avenue while the CTA contractor was working on the city's Brown Line. The Brown Line "L" trains run every day between Kimball and the Loop in downtown Chicago.

Firefighters from the Chicago Fire Department responded to the scene. They had to call in ComEd crews to shut off the power. The worker died at the scene.

The deceased man had been working on the CTA's Ravenswood Connector Rehabilitation Project. That project, which shut down part a section of the Brown Line's elevated tracks over the weekend, is intended "to remove slow zones and to improve rail service," according to the CTA.

There were no details reported about whether the CTA and ComEd took all necessary precautions to protect workers who were in close proximity to power lines. Working around live power lines can be one of the most dangerous types of work there is. While workers' safety cannot be completely guaranteed, employers have a responsibility to eliminate unnecessary hazards and to protect workers as well as bystanders as much as possible.

When they don't fulfill those obligations, workers who have been injured and loved ones of those killed can and should determine what their legal options are to hold the necessary people and entities accountable. Compensation can be an invaluable help with medical costs, funeral expenses, lost wages and other damages.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "CTA contract worker electrocuted on North Side," Liam Ford, May. 16, 2015

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