Man sues landlords after wife, 77, crushed by falling stone slabs

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Sun-Times file photo

File photo

A man is suing the owners of a home in north suburban Niles where his wife died last month after being crushed by falling stone slabs.

Charles Sullivan filed the wrongful death lawsuit Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court, and seeks damages from the owners of the home where her death occurred.

Charles and Mary Sullivan were renting the home on April 7 in the 6900 block of Jarvis Street when she fell down a stairwell, according to court documents and Niles police.

As she fell, Mary Sullivan, 77, pulled two stone slabs down with her while trying to steady herself, police said.

She was pronounced dead at 9:55 a.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. An autopsy found she died of mechanical asphyxia and entrapment under the stone slabs. Her death was ruled an accident.

According to the suit, the landlords “placed or caused to be placed extremely heavy, large, rectangular stone slabs leaning unsecured” against an outside wall at the rear of the home. Further, Charles Sullivan claims they asked the landlords to remove or secure the stones, and that they should have known they were dangerous.

The suit accuses the landlords of negligence for failing to secure or remove the stones. As a result of her death, her seven children and husband suffered grief and the loss of her companionship, according to the suit.

The four-count suit seeks more than $200,000 in damages.

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