June 11, 2011

New City Ordinance Proposed In Response to Gold Coast Road Accident

by Levin & Perconti

On Monday, our Chicago accident attorneys filed a lawsuit on behalf of one of the victims of the high-profile Gold Coast pedestrian accident. Our client, Stephen Dewart, was one of eight people who were severely injured by a City of Chicago employee when he accidentally drove a city owned Streets and Sanitation truck off of the road and onto a sidewalk in the Gold Coast on Rush Street.

Authorities investigating the matter soon discovered that the city employee was drunk when the accident occurred. His blood alcohol level was well over the legal limit, and investigators also found an open bottle and brandy in the city truck.

Upon hearing news of the crash and injured residents, many community members were understandably upset. How could such egregious conduct have been possible by a city employee? After filing the suit for one of the victims our Chicago car accident attorney Steve Levin explained that the lawsuit will hopefully, “prompt the City to create more effective drug and alcohol screening processes for employees, especially those operating large vehicles and heavy machinery.”

That may in fact be exactly what happens, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The publication explained how two powerful city officials –Aldermen Edward Burke and Pat O’Connor—proposed on Wednesday a new ordinance which would require all city employees to be open to random drug and alcohol testing. Under current rules only police officers, firefighters, and commercial drivers are subject to these random drug tests.

As the officials explained, the goal of the changes would be to minimize the overall number of errors in judgment by city officials which far too often lead to harm to innocent community members, just like what happened in the Gold Cast tragedy.

Besides potentially saving lives the aldermen also explained how the new rules may also limit the total number of workers compensation claims filed by city employees for injuries on the job. To prove the point, statistics were highlighted from the National Institute of Drug Abuse which revealed that abusers of drugs and alcohol were five times more likely to file worker’s compensation claims than non-abusers.

Our Chicago personal injury attorneys at Levin & Perconti are well versed in the types of unacceptable conduct in which some city employees engage, leading to the injury of others. It is simply unacceptable for such conduct to ever occur. All measures should be supported that work to make the community a safer place, such as the one here.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

City of Chicago Truck Hits Bicyclist

Levin & Perconti File Suit For Victim of City Worker Drunk Driving Accident