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Piece of stone falls from building, kills woman walking below

Georgia residents may be interested in the story of one woman who was fatally injured in Illinois when part of a building fell on her while she was walking. The building had failed some recent inspections due to a cracked façade and other structural issues.

Shortly after 12 p.m. on Sept. 4, a woman was crossing a street in the South Loop neighborhood of Chicago with her boyfriend. As she made her way across, a piece of stone fell 30 feet from the Second Presbyterian Church. The piece of masonry, according to witnesses at the scene, hit the woman on her head and then crashed to the ground, breaking in two. Reports indicate that the piece of stone was most likely part of a gargoyle decorating the church building. Emergency personnel took the woman to a local hospital, and doctors pronounced her dead when she arrived.

Reports indicate that the woman was employed by an area children's hospital. The 140-year-old church was declared a historic landmark last year, but it has failed multiple building inspections over the last decade. It passed its latest inspection in March, but a local paper notes that at least one inspection report cited fractures in the building's facade and flaking stone.

In cases where a building owner fails to properly maintain the property while making it open to the public, the owner may be liable if someone is injured or killed on the premises. The owner may be responsible for paying personal injury or wrongful death damages to those harmed. An attorney with experience in premises liability cases may be able to assess the injury and the potential liability of the property owner. The attorney may then be able to bring a lawsuit to recover these damages in civil 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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