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Stone falls from historic church, kills woman

Pennsylvania readers may be interested in the following account of a woman who was killed in Chicago; the 34-year-old succumbed to her injuries after stone from a historic church fell and struck her on the head. According to witnesses, the woman was crossing the street at the time. The incident occurred a little past noon on Sept. 4. The piece of stone might have been from a gargoyle on the exterior of the building.

The woman was pronounced dead at a local hospital, according to a Chicago news source. The church may be considered a dangerous property, as it reportedly failed building inspections in 2007, 2009, 2010 and two times in 2011. In March 2013, the building did pass an inspection. Records from the building department indicated that there were problems with the outside walls of the building including flaking stone, washed-out mortar and fractures.

If a building owner is aware of a dangerous condition on his or her property through a failed property inspection or some other indication, he or she might be held liable in the event that someone is seriously injured or killed on the property. In addition, an inspector might be held liable if it can be demonstrated that the inspector knew about a dangerous situation and deemed a property safe.

A personal injury lawyer may find evidence such as inspection records or other documentation that indicates a property owner was aware of an unsafe area of the property prior to an accident. A judge or jury might review such evidence and decide in favor of the plaintiffs in either a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. If the defendant does not want to face a trial, he or she might settle out of court.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Woman Killed By Stone That Fell From Gargoyle On Historic Church", Kim Bellware, September 04, 2014

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