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Corboy & Demetrio Obtains $1.5M for Family of Boy Killed by Falling Tombstone

Corboy & Demetrio obtained a settlement of $1.5 million for the family of a 4-year-old boy who was killed when a 500-pound tombstone fell on top of him during the family's visit to a grave site in the Jewish Waldheim Cemetery in Forest Park, Illinois. 

Des Plaines Avenue Cemetery Association, Woodlawn Cemetery Association of Chicago and Ziditshover Cemetery Association were all named as defendants in the wrongful death lawsuit, which was filed by the boy’s parents who are co-administrators of their son’s estate, in Cook County Circuit Court on Nov. 23, 1987.

The child was walking next to a 500-pound tombstone when it toppled and fell, crushing and killing him.

The lawsuit alleged the defendants negligently maintained its grounds and tombstones by failing to properly inspect the tombstones. One previous toppling had occurred causing injuries, including the one that caused the boy’s death and the defendants were aware that some of its tombstones were loose, leaning and broken.

The lawsuit also alleged that the cemetery failed to properly anchor the tombstone to its pedestal to prevent its toppling after the previous similar toppling and that it failed to barricade or warn persons, including the boy and his family, that it was foreseeable that the tombstone would fall.

Case#: 86L14074C Schwartz v. Des Plaines Ave. Cemetery Assn.

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Corboy & Demetrio
33 N. Dearborn Street
21st Floor
Chicago, IL 60602