The wife of a legally blind man who was killed last summer by a condominium trash compactor as he searched for a cellphone has filed suit against the building manager and homeowner’s association. It was alleged that the defendants failed to ensure the man’s safety. Fifty-six-year-old Roger Mirro was killed on July 30 by a trash compactor at the time he was searching for a cellphone that he believed he had accidentally thrown away.
According to the lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court against Willow Creek No. 6 Association and Hillcrest Property Management, Inc., a homeowner’s association board member gave Mirro a key to the dumpster room, but didn’t offer any further assistance. Around 6:45 p.m., according to the lawsuit, Roger Mirro entered the room and climbed on a ladder that was propped on the compactor to look for his disposed garbage. It was alleged that “with the ladder in place, Mirro was encouraged to climb up so that he could see into the loading hopper of the compactor.” While he was looking over into the compactor, according to the complaint, Mirro lost his balance, either by being struck by trash that had been sent down the chute a few feet above him, or by overextending his body over the loading hopper.
Mirro’s body then triggered the compactor’s sensor and signaled for a compaction cycle to begin, according to the lawsuit. It was alleged that there was no control safety device inside that would have allowed him to stop the process and there were no rungs that would allow him to climb out. Mirro’s body triggered the walls, and he was crushed and pushed through the machine.
An autopsy determined that the victim died of crushing injuries that were caused by the compactor, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. The lawsuit alleged that the board that represents the homeowner’s association is made up of resident volunteers with no special training regarding professional property management, and that the association should have known not to give residents access to the dumpster room. It is contended that since Mirro was legally blind, he would have had a difficult time reading a warning sign that was any significant distance from him.
The lawsuit alleged that the association and property management company also failed to adhere to standards set by the American National Standard Institute. There were no signs outside the room or on the compactor that warned of the dangers of the compactor. Craig D. Brown, a Chicago lawyer with Myers & Flowers, represents the Plaintiff in this lawsuit.
Source: Chicago Tribune
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