Woman files lawsuit in death of husband at Gold Coast construction site

SHARE Woman files lawsuit in death of husband at Gold Coast construction site

The wife of a construction worker who was crushed to death by a crane last week at a Gold Coast worksite filed a lawsuit Thursday against several companies involved with the project.

The lawsuit was filed in Cook County Circuit Court against Leopardo Companies Inc., the contracting company for the project, as well as five other companies.

About 3 p.m. Jan. 30, emergency crews were called to the site of a high-rise under construction near Elm and State streets about and found Joel Ogiego, 45, pinned in equipment, police and fire officials said. He had been working inside a crane on the sixth floor.

Other workers freed Ogiego before ambulances arrived, but he was unresponsive at the scene, fire officials said.

Ogiego, of the 5100 block of Lakeview Avenue in Portage, Ind., was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, police said.

Among several allegeations, Ogiego’s wife Rhonda Ogiego claims Leopardo failed to inspect the crane, enforce safety rules at the site or warn Ogiego of the dangers of working on the crane, according to the lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court. She also claims the company violated Occupational Safety and Health Administration codes.

The 10-count, wrongful death suit makes similar claims against Adjustable Forms, Inc., Central Rent-A-Crane, Inc., Convexity Properties, LLC, DRW Holdings, LLC and DRW Real Estate Investments. None of those companies could immediately be reached Thursday evening.

Officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were called to the scene of the accident and “will determine if an investigation into the incident should be opened,” according to a statement from the federal agency.

OSHA has up to six months to interview workers and company officials on the incident before deciding whether to levy fines or citations against the employer for safety violations.

“It is tragic whenever a worker loses his life on the job. We extend our sincere condolences to this worker’s loved ones,” OHSA Area Director Kathy Webb said in the statement.

The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount in damages.

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