A recent Chicago Tribune article has revealed that the estate of Rajmund Zalewa, a 26 year old Prospect Heights man killed on November 16th while working at a Libertyville hospital has filed a lawsuit against a local construction company seeking $600,000 in damages. Zalewa, who had worked for the housekeeping department of the hospital for six years, became pinned under heavy drywall in a section of the hospital that was currently undergoing construction.
Zalewa was found by other employees about 11 p.m. in a storage area where he was trapped by several pieces of lead lined drywall. According to hospital officials, it was unclear as to when the incident actually happened but Zalewa was on duty at the time of the incident. The lead-lined drywall is typically used with medical imaging, or x-rays and was part of the ongoing construction at the hospital.
Rajmund Zalewa was pronounced dead at Advocate Condell Medical Center. Preliminary autopsy results indicate Zalewa died from suffocation due to the weight of the drywall. The Lake County coroner's office concluded that Zalewa died from the pressure of the heavy material falling on his chest. Each piece of drywall carried a weight of about 200 lbs.
According to Cook County Circuit Court records, Antoni Zalewa, who has been named as the administrator of Rajmund Zalewa's estate, has filed a lawsuit against Chicago-based Pepper Construction Group LLC and Pepper's subcontractor R.G. Construction Services and has hired a Chicago personal injury lawyer for representation. The lawsuit alleges that the construction companies maintained an unsafe construction site and that they were negligent for failing to warn Zalewa about the dangers of the site.
Antoni Zalewa is seeking $50,000 in damages for 12 counts of negligence and wrongful death for a total of $600,000 dollars. The Spokesman for Pepper Construction has declined to comment on the case. The Unites States Occupational Safety and Health Administration is also investigating the death.