The mother of a woman who was killed in a high rise fire of Chicago has filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of her daughter’s estate.

Similar to Ohio, a wrongful death lawsuit can be brought against a person or persons whose negligence or willful misconduct resulted in the death of a relative. In this case, the lawsuit stems from the premises liability based allegation that the high rise owners did not provide a safe living environment. Several aspects of the building led to the death of the woman in the case. First, the apartment building was not equipped with sprinklers that might have slowed or even stopped the fire’s spread. Next, the building’s elevators did not shut off in a fire. Finally, the building was not equipped with any kind of warning system to inform tenants of the existence of a fire on other floors of the building. The combination of design factors means that the young woman boarded an elevator in the lobby and rode up to her floor, unaware that when she got there she would be met by 1500-degree temperatures that killed her.

Similar to Illinois, only a close relative can bring a wrongful death lawsuit, and the plaintiff must prove that economic or noneconomic damages were suffered as a result of the death. That may include:

  • Loss of support
  • Loss of services
  • Loss of companionship
  • Funeral expenses

In the case of an adult child, proving economic damages can be challenging. It would have to be demonstrated that an adult child was or would be providing support for an elderly parent, which is difficult unless there is already an economic relationship where the child supports the adult. Noneconomic damages can often be supported by showing the strength of an emotional relationship between the child and parent.

If you have lost a loved one due to another person’s negligence, you may be able to receive compensation for your loss. The issues can be complex, but we offer a free case evaluation to help you decide whether to file a lawsuit.

To learn whether you have a viable wrongful death case, please contact the Columbus personal injury lawyers of Robert W. Kerpsack, CO, LPA for a free case evaluation.