Posted On: July 30, 2010

Preliminary Investigation Determines that Illinois Worker Deaths were Preventable

An investigation performed by the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) has determined that a grain belt accident that left two teenagers dead and one other seriously injured was preventable. The tragic workplace accident occurred on Wednesday around 10:00 a.m. in a bin owned by Haasbach LLC in Mount Carroll, IL. According to reports, three workers were inside the bin when the accident happened. Those workers were aged 19 years old, 14 years old, and 20 years old. Both the 19 year old and the 14 year old were killed in the workplace accident. The 20 year old was taken to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Rockford, IL, where he was listed in fair condition.

The aforementioned investigation determined that none of the workers were wearing required safety harnesses or were equipped with required safety harnesses when the tragedy occurred. Investigators also revealed that the deceased 14 year old should not have been working in the grain bin to begin with under any circumstances. OSHA has six months to complete their investigation. The agency has already conducted interviews with employees, owners and individuals that were at the accident scene. The matter is still being investigated by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department.

If you have been involved in a workplace accident in Illinois, you should contact an attorney to ensure that you receive all of the benefits that you are entitled to.

Posted On: July 28, 2010

Former Priest and Convicted Illinois Sexual Abuser Released from Prison

A former priest has been released from an Illinois prison after having plead guilty to the criminal sexual abuse of two minors under the age of 16 in 2004. Mark Campobello, who was ordained in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockford in 1991, is being released for the third time since 2006. He was twice returned to custody for parole violations. The only condition placed upon his present release is that he register as an Illinois Sex Offender.

The sexual abuse for which Campobello served time reportedly occurred between 1999 and 2001. Reports indicate that Campobello was transferred numerous times while he was a priest. Campobello spent time at the Holy Family Parish in Rockford, IL, St. Peter Parish in Geneva, IL, the Cathedral of St. Peter in Rockford, IL, Holy Angel’s Parish in Aurora, IL, St. Thomas the Apostle in Crystal Lake, IL, and St. James Parish in Belvidere, IL. Campobello was also the assistant principal and spiritual director of Aurora Central Catholic High School in Aurora, IL. Court documents also indicate that Campobello underwent a course of treatment at St. Luke Hospital in Maryland which is a mental health facility for Catholic ministers. This treatment was reportedly initiated at the direction of the diocese. Campobello was eventually defrocked in 2005.

The high number of transfers and/or reassignments of Campobello coupled with his stint in the Maryland mental health facility indicate that diocese officials may have been aware of at least some allegations against Campobello. To date, the diocese has refused to release Campobello’s personnel records.

The Childhood Sexual Abuse Act allows victims of sexual abuse in Illinois to come forward and bring civil cases many years after an abuse was committed. This expanded statute of limitations will oftentimes allow otherwise unreported abuses to be prosecuted. If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual abuse in Illinois, you should contact an attorney to explore your rights. Chicago victims’ rights attorney Joseph G. Klest helped author the aforementioned statute. To speak with attorney Klest, please click here.

Posted On: July 23, 2010

Chicago Loop Car Accident Injures Seven and Damages 7-11 Store

A two vehicle car accident left seven injured last Tuesday including several pedestrians. According to reports, the downtown Chicago car crash occurred at the intersection of Wabash and Adams when a southbound Toyota Corolla drove through a red light in front of a westbound taxi cab. The cab was unable to avoid a collision and hit the side of the Corolla which was sent flying through a newsstand outside a 7-11 convenience store. The taxi cab itself careened into the front entrance of the store knocking over a coffee maker. Thankfully, no patrons of the convenience store were injured as a result of the car accident.

The downtown Chicago car crash left seven people injured. The driver of the Corolla was taken to John H. Stroger Hospital along with two passengers in that vehicle. The passengers were listed in fair condition while the driver’s condition was listed as serious. Meanwhile, the driver of the taxicab was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he was reportedly listed in serious condition. An official from the City of Chicago building department determined that the building remained structurally sound despite the damage. The driver of the Toyota Corolla received traffic citations for lack of insurance and failure to stop at a red traffic signal.

If you have been injured in a Chicago car accident and would like a free consultation with an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney, please click here.

Posted On: July 20, 2010

Report Finds Chicago Traffic Deaths in Decline due to Safer Roads and Vehicles

A report released by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning has determined that there has been substantial progress in Chicago traffic safety between 2002 and 2008. The study found that Chicago car accident fatalities have declined dramatically since early last decade. The drop in Chicago automobile accident deaths has been linked to safety enhancements on roadways as well as safer and better equipped vehicles. However, experts agree that there is still a lot of work to be done in improving the safety of our roadways. For example, almost 300,000 traffic accidents occur each year in the Chicago area with a fatal crash occurring about once every twenty one and a half hours.

The findings of the study are quite encouraging. The report determined that the annual number of deaths and injuries from vehicle accidents fell approximately 12.5 percent from 2002 to 2005 and about 18 percent from 2005 to 2008 with traffic related fatalities declining from 629 to 437 between 2005 and 2008. The study used statistics that were compiled by the Illinois Department of Transportation. Of the areas that were examined, DuPage County had the lowest fatality rates while suburban Cook County and Lake County had the second lowest. Car accident crash rates remain the highest within the City of Chicago where the rates are nearly three times those of rural areas. Of those fatal crashes within the city, nearly 25 percent involve pedestrian fatalities.

The recent study of traffic fatalities in the Chicago area is very promising, however Chicago roadways remain a very dangerous place for drivers and pedestrians alike. If you have been involved in a Chicago area car accident or would otherwise like to speak with an attorney, please click here.

Posted On: July 16, 2010

Chicago Ridge Village Secretary Accused of Childhood Sexual Abuse

A longtime Chicago Ridge village secretary and mother of three has been accused of using alcohol and marijuana to manipulate teenagers into engaging in sexual activity with her. The woman, Cathleen M. Miller, is accused of sexually molesting four of her daughter’s 14 and 15 year old male friends. According to reports, the alleged molestation took place in Miller’s home at 5813 W. 109th St. between February and June of this year. She now faces three counts of criminal sexual assault and one count of criminal sexual abuse.

The alleged sexual abuse reportedly came to light when one of the boys posted an apology to Miller’s daughter on Facebook. The young teen’s parents reportedly saw the posting and went to the police. Miller has been barred from contact with her 14 year old daughter because the girl allegedly witnessed some of the alleged acts of sexual abuse. Miller’s bail has been set at $900,000.00 by the Circuit Court of Cook County’s 5th District in Bridgeview, IL. Miller had reportedly recently separated from her husband claiming she suffered a long history of physical and emotional abuse. Miller’s sister has taken custody of her children as the Illinois DCFS investigates the sexual abuse allegations.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse you should contact an experienced trial lawyer to protect your rights. The Klest Law Firm offers free consultations to victims of sexual abuse. Attorney Joseph G. Klest helped draft the current statute of limitations contained in the Childhood Sexual Abuse Act (CSAA). To speak with attorney Klest, please click here.

Posted On: July 15, 2010

Suburban Chicago Car Accident Kills Elderly Man

A West Chicago man was killed last Sunday in the western suburbs in a tragic automobile accident. The fatal Chicago car crash occurred at the intersection of Butterfield Rd. in unincorporated Wheaton, IL, around 8:40 p.m. according to the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office. According to reports, a 23 year old Warrenville, IL, was driving a 2004 Dodge Dakota eastbound on Butterfield Rd. approaching the intersection of Arrowhead drive. At that point, the 81 year old West Chicago man attempted to turn his 2001 Mercury Grand Marquis on to westbound Butterfield Rd. At that point, the front of the Dakota reportedly struck the drivers side of the Grand Marquis.

The driver of the Grand Marquis was immediately rushed to Central DuPage Hospital immediately following the tragic Chicago car accident. He was pronounced dead at 1:49 a.m. from injuries arising out of the crash according to the DuPage County Coroner’s Office. Butterfield Rd. was closed from Herrick to Orchard for about three hours following the car crash for investigation. Police are still investigating the fatal Chicago car crash and no traffic citations have yet been issued.

If you have been involved in a fatal Chicago car accident it is important that you contact an attorney as soon as practicable to investigate the accident and preserve potentially important evidence. The Klest Law Firm has over twenty eight years of experience handling car accident cases in and around Chicago, Illinois. To speak with an attorney at the Klest Law Firm, please click here.

Posted On: July 13, 2010

New Sexual Abuse Charges Brought Against Former Chicago Priest Daniel McCormack

New criminal charges have been filed against Chicago priest Daniel McComack by the Illinois Attorney General this week. McCormack is currently being held in a mental health facility after having been paroled last September. The now 41 year old defrocked priest served two and a half years in prison after pleading guilty to five felony counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in 2001. He was paroled last September, but the Cook County State’s Attorney and the Illinois Attorney General filed petitions under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act to block his complete release.

The charges against McCormack date back to 2001 when the priest was a teacher and basketball coach at Our Lady of the Westside School (now St. Agatha Academy). Prosecutors in the original criminal case claimed that McCormack was abusing young boys at the school on a nearly daily basis. The abused boys were reportedly between the ages of 8 and 12 years old. McCormack was finally removed as a pastor when formal charges were filed in 2001. A child safety review that was performed after McCormack’s initial arrest uncovered evidence that the internal abuse investigation performed by the Archdiocese was mishandled. The archdiocese has now put a new monitoring program into place.

The atrocities suffered at the hands of McCormack’s victims are extremely upsetting. Sexual abuse victims’ advocate attorney Joseph G. Klest is a pioneer in the fight for victim’s rights in Illinois. Attorney Klest, whose family is from Douglas Park, helped draft the current statute of limitations for civil sexual abuse claims in Illinois. He was also selected to sit on a panel addresing the abuses committed by the now defrocked McCormack. To speak with attorney Klest, please click here.

Posted On: July 11, 2010

Chicago Suburban High School Teacher Serving Sexual Abuse Sentencel

The Chicago high school band teacher is currently serving 20 years in state prison after pleading guilty to multiple counts of sexual abuse in 2006. The teacher, Robert Sperlik, taught in the Berwyn school district for nearly twenty years. The instances of sexual abuse reportedly occurred between 1998 and 2003 and included 20 separate victims. The underlying instances of sexual abuse include allegations that Sperlik had used duct tape to bind one victim in a chair while he molested her. Another victim was reportedly gagged with a rag in the band classroom. A recent civil lawsuit alleged that the principal knew of allegations against Sperlik but continued to expose him to children. The principal had previously been acquitted of misdemeanor charges for failing to report the abuse.

The circumstances surrounding Sperlik's conviction should serve as a warning to Chicago area institutions to take reports of abuse very seriously. If you or a loved one have been the victim of sexual abuse, you should contact an attorney to investigate your case and protect your rights. The Klest Law Firm has over twenty eight years of experience handling sexual abuse claims in Illinois. To speak with an experienced civil sexual abuse attorney, please click here.

Posted On: July 9, 2010

Three Killed in Chicago High Speed Car Accident

A late night Chicago car accident in Maywood, IL, claimed the lives of three individuals last night. According to reports, the chain of events that caused the fatal multi-vehicle crash was initiated when a teen driver noticed a potentially impaired driver in a black Honda on a west-facing curb at Jackson Ave. in River Forest, IL. Maywood authorities report that the teen stopped near the vehicle to see if the driver needed help. The actions of the teen samaritan reportedly angered the motorist who began to follow the teen as the teen pulled away. The driver of the Honda tailed the teen after the encounter through west Chicago streets as the teen contacted River Forest police. The teen reportedly ran a red light at the intersection of Chicago and First Ave. during the chase.

As the Honda was pursuing the vehicle it ran a light at the same intersection colliding with a Mercedes Sports Utility Vehicle that was southbound on First Avenue. The individuals in the Mercedes, both residents of Chicago, were killed at the scene the car accident. The driver of the Honda was also killed. Police records show that the Honda driver did have previous arrests related to drugs and DUI. The matter is still being investigated.

If you have been involved in a Chicago car accident and would like to speak with an attorney, please click here.

Posted On: July 7, 2010

One Person Killed in Chicago Expressway Car Accident

A two car accident on Chicago’s busy Stevenson expressway resulted in one death early last Saturday morning. The fatal car crash happened at about 3:50 a.m. in the southbound lanes of I-55 at Franklin St. according to District Chicago State Police. The Chicago car accident occurred when a Volkswagen collided with a BMW propelling the Volkswagen into a ditch. The vehicle caught on fire shortly thereafter. The driver of the Volkswagen, a mid 20’s male, was taken to MetroSouth Medical Center in Blue Island, IL, where he was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.

The driver and a passenger in the BMW each suffered personal injuries as a result of the crash. They were taken to Rush University Medical Center were treated for non-life threatening injuries. Southbound traffic on I-55 was diverted immediately following the accident according to a state trooper. Traffic lanes were reopened as of 9:45 a.m. on the morning of July 3rd. The fatal Chicago car accident is still under investigation.

Holiday weekends can be dangerous for Chicago area motorists. Drivers should make an attempt to be extra cautious during the holiday weekends. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Chicago area car accident you should contact a Chicago area personal injury attorney to investigate the accident and protect your rights. The Klest Law Firm has over twenty eight years of experience handling injury cases in Illinois. To contact an attorney, please click here.

Posted On: July 1, 2010

Chicago Man Hit and Killed by Metra Train

A Chicago resident was struck and killed by a Metra train Wednesday morning in Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood. The deceased resided on the 400 block of East 113th St. According to a spokesman for the Chicago Fire Department, the man was hit near 11100 S. Cottage Grove Ave. around 7:14 a.m. Eyewitness reports publicized via a Metra spokesperson indicate that the man may have been trying to retrieve items from the track when the tragic Chicago train accident occurred. The train engineer applied the brakes but was reportedly unable to stop the train in time to avoid a fatal collision.

The train, Electric Line train No. 106, was halted at the scent of the accident for about one hour following the deadly train crash. Train passengers were transferred to another train shortly thereafter at which point the trip downtown was resumed. Metra service was reportedly delayed about an hour following the crash. The Chicago train fatality is still being investigated by local authorities and Metra.

If you have been the victim of a Chicago train accident you should contact a Chicago personal injury attorney as soon as possible to investigate the accident and preserve evidence. The Klest Law Firm has been advocating on behalf of injured individuals in catastrophic matters for over twenty eight years.

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