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Lawsuit filed after team exercise becomes workplace accident

Earlier this month, a man filed a workplace injuries lawsuit after 2012 incident in which he says he suffered a fall during a mandatory training workshop. The lawsuit, filed in DuPage County, alleges that the plaintiff was asked to participate in a workplace exercise that was originally designed to foster mutual respect, understanding and empathy between the employees at a fire safety company located in Addison, Illinois.

The lawsuit names a third-party business consultant as a co-defendant in facilitating what the plaintiff says is an incident that caused him mental and physical pain and suffering after he fell to the floor and injured his knees to the point where he required surgery.

The lawsuit also alleges that the business consultant was negligent by allowing him to be blindfolded and propelled upward from a horizontal position while lying in a contraption that relied on a series of strings arranged in a web-like pattern for his suspension. According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff says that he received permanent and lasting injuries after he fell to the floor when his coworkers articulated the contraption in an unsafe manner.

In today's modern workplace, state and federal safety agencies enforce rules and regulations designed at preventing workplace accidents and fostering a culture of safety awareness. Business owners and employers who fail to enforce reasonable safety standards and ensure that employees receive adequate safety training may incur liability for accidents. Workers injured as a result of negligent safety practices may be eligible to sue their employers for monetary compensation of their medical costs and lost wages.

Also, it is important to remember that regardless of safety conditions, workers injured on the job through workplace accidents such as falling from a ladder or scaffolding, being scalded, electrocuted and injured by inadequately maintained machinery are usually entitled to receive workers' compensation.

Source: Chicago Tribune-Hinesdale & Clarendon Hills, "Man injured during team-building drill: lawsuit" Christy Gutowski, Jul. 24, 2014

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