An Illinois man injured in a 2017 steel mill accident has died months after receiving a $10 million settlement.

An Illinois man injured in a 2017 steel mill accident has died months after receiving a $10 million settlement.

CHICAGO — Nearly five months after receiving $10 million in a lawsuit settlement after sustaining serious injuries at a Hammond steel processing plant seven years ago, a Lynwood man died late last month from complications resulting from the accident.

Robert Cobbage, 63, formerly of Portage, Ind., was pronounced dead at 10:21 a.m. March 24 at Palos Community Hospital, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

An autopsy on March 27 concluded that he died from complications of crush injuries after he was pinned between heavy objects, and his death was ruled an accident, according to the coroner.

Cubbage was working at Niagara LaSalle Steel Company in Hammond on Jan. 12, 2017, when a 5-ton crane loaded with steel bars malfunctioned and crushed him, said Kenneth Allen, Cubbage’s attorney.

Allen said Coppage suffered permanent injuries, including incomplete hemiplegia.

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“I was shocked and saddened to learn of Bob’s death, but I know he was happy that we finally prevailed in holding the crane company accountable. At least this offers some solace,” Allen said.

The lawsuit was against Crane 1 Services, which was hired to inspect overhead cranes at the steel mill, Allen said. Allen and Otto Shragal are represented by Allen Law Group Coppage.

In November, Lake County Superior Judge Christina Kantar awarded Coppage a $10 million settlement.

“The evidence we presented at trial showed that Crane 1 turned a blind eye to safety by repeatedly overlooking or underestimating the defective condition of this crane,” Shargal said. “Any reasonable inspection of this crane should have caused it to be taken out of service immediately, but tragically it did not.”

Officials from Crane 1 did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

Although business safety is a top priority, many don’t follow through until after a tragic accident and a court ruling, Allen said.

“We hope this important settlement sends exactly that message to many steel mills and crane inspection companies in Chicagoland,” Allen said. “Safety should always take priority over production. Because in the end, putting safety over profits is good business.

The Twilight Parade is an annual tradition kicking off the Illinois State Fair in Springfield.

    (Tags for translation) Civil Law 

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