Man picked up by crane, thrown into Chicago River suing city and MWRD

SHARE Man picked up by crane, thrown into Chicago River suing city and MWRD

A man who claims he was picked up by a crane and thrown into the Chicago River when the city destroyed a shelter last April filed a lawsuit Thursday against the City of Chicago and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.

Michael Moragne was inside a “tent or shelter” near the South Fork of the South Branch of the Chicago River in McKinley Park on April 9, 2014. Unknown to him, an excavator or crane mounted on a barge began to tear down the structure while he was inside, according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court.

Moragne was then picked up by the jaws of the crane and swung over the water, where he was released and dropped into the river, the lawsuit said.

The crane was operated by someone employed by the city, the suit said.

Morgane suffered unspecified permanent injuries as a result of the incident, according to the suit.

The suit claims the city failed to determine whether the shelter or tent was occupied prior to tearing it down, and failed to train employees and agents to check if a structure was unoccupied before destroying it.

The four-count suit claims negligence and seeks at least $200,000 in damages.

The City of Chicago could not immediately provide comment Thursday evening. Calls made to MWRD were not immediately returned Thursday evening.

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