The families of three men who were killed in a recent Starved Rock explosion have filed a wrongful death lawsuit.
“Copper Pipe” Used in Campfire
The Starved Rock explosion occurred on May 6, 2021. On that date, 39-year-old Immer Rivera Tejada, his 36-year-old brother Rafael Rivera Tejada, and their 26-year-old nephew Guillermo Rivera Tejada went fishing along the Illinois River in Starved Rock State Park, 75 miles southwest of Chicago, IL. They were camped approximately 100 yards from the former site of the old Route 178 Bridge, which had recently been demolished.
The men reportedly used what they thought was a copper pipe to prop up a pan while they were building a campfire, and the heat caused it to explode.
The Starved Rock explosion killed all three men. They are survived by a total of seven children, ages 3 to 15.
Negligence Alleged in Starved Rock Explosion
Personal injury attorneys representing the men’s family members filed a wrongful death lawsuit in late September. The suit named as defendants three construction and blasting companies hired by the Illinois Department of Transportation to demolish the Route 178 Bridge.
The lawsuit alleges that these companies negligently failed to control their explosive materials at all times or to perform an adequate post-blast inspection, leaving behind an undetonated linear-shaped charge as a result. The deceased men later unwittingly used this charge while building their campfire, mistaking it for a simple copper pipe.
At the time of the incident, state officials insisted that the bridge’s demolition played no part in the Starved Rock explosion. The companies identified in the wrongful death lawsuit have so far declined to comment.
Helping Explosion Victims Get Justice
When someone is seriously injured or killed in an explosion, justice can prove elusive. Given the highly destructive nature of these incidents, establishing the cause is particularly difficult, as is determining who is at fault. Sometimes multiple parties may share responsibility, including multi-million-dollar construction companies and municipal entities with vast resources available to fight explosion injury claims, all to make sure that they pay the victims as little as possible.
It can take deep familiarity with industry practices and uncommon attention to detail to properly identify and pursue everyone who may be at fault. For this reason, explosion victims and their families frequently reach out to the dedicated personal injury attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers LLC.
With over $2 billion recovered for our clients in verdicts and settlements, GWC is one of the leading Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation law firms in Illinois. We have considerable experience with construction accidents in particular, so much so that GWC has often been called the construction injury law firm. No other personal injury attorneys are more respected – or more feared – by defense lawyers and insurance companies throughout the state, both inside and outside of the courtroom. GWC has the experience, the determination, the resources, and the reputation needed to make sure that those who hurt you and your family are held accountable.