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$4,035,000 Settlement Reached with CTA and Others in Worker's Death


A 40 year old widow and mother settled her family's wrongful death case stemming from her husband's death for $4,035,000 and a waiver of the worker's compensation lien on the eve of trial on Monday, November 9, 1998, before Judge Shelvin Louise Hall. The case involved the wrongful death claim of Louis Jones, who was 44 years old when he was killed while working on property maintained by the Chicago Transit Authority at Belden Avenue in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood on June 23, 1991.

Louis Jones, of Merrillville, Indiana at the time, was a sandblaster working on the supports of the CTA tracks working for a sub-contractor of defendant J. L. Manta operating from a hydraulic lift when he became entangled with a metal conduit owned by co-defendant Commonwealth Edison running the width of the underside of the tracks at the Belden Avenue location. As a result of the entanglement, the air supply to his blasting suit was cut off and he was crushed to death.

His attorney, Philip Harnett Corboy, Jr. of Chicago's Corboy & Demetrio said following the settlement:

The placement of the metal conduit was discussed between defendant general contractor J. L. Manta and co-defendant Chicago Transit Authority prior to Louis' beginning work in the area where he was eventually killed. The conduit was supposed to be taken down or, at the very least, lowered so as to allow him full access to the work area that required the use of the hydraulic lift. His sandblasting was dangerous enough as it was without the added danger of a 30 foot metal conduit being present. J. L. Manta apparently failed to inform Commonwealth Edison of the need to take the conduit down prior to Louis' beginning work in the area. Mr. Jones' death would not have occurred if a simple phone call had been made alerting Commonwealth Edison of the danger.

In addition to Marcia Jones, his wife, Jones is survived by three sons: Scott, age 30; Eric, age 27, who was a nationally recognized defensive lineman at Notre Dame in the early 1990s; and Steven, age 13.

Said Corboy:

    The loss of his father was hardest on the youngest child, Steven, who was 7 years old at the time of his dad's death. Steven idolized his father as his hero. To this day, Steven still has a very difficult time understanding why his father was killed on that June morning in 1991.
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