Two Injured in Water Tank Crash File Suit

Two people injured when a water tank fell Wednesday morning from a nine-story building into a Chicago alley have filed suit.

Jack Baginski, 29, was helping his girlfriend Lauren Hussar, 27, move out of her building in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood when a wooden water tank fell from the top of the Brewster building next door in the 2800 block of Pine Grove.

The water tank feel on the ground next to the couple and both were taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where Hussar remained Friday, according to the lawsuit.

“We are immediately seeking all maintenance and inspection records for this building and its water tank,” said Richard F. Burke, Jr., partner at Clifford Law Offices handling the matter. “Such an old and potentially dangerous structure must be carefully inspected and meticulously maintained to ensure it is securely mounted to the roof of the building. People living in densely populated neighborhoods need to know these aging water tanks are safe.”

The lawsuit was filed in the Law Division and seeks an unspecified amount of damages on behalf of each of them.
The building, built in 1893 and originally known as the Lincoln Park Palace, was cited at least twice for violations in February of 2010, according to records on the City of Chicago’s Department of Building website.

The building is among those discussed by people curious of the paranormal. It's mentioned as a possible haunted spot on the website, which also provides a bit of history that is certainly likely to bolster believers: it was July 31, 1895 when builder Bjoerne Edwards fell eight stories to the courtyard while the building was being constructed. He died hours later, 118 years to the day before Wednesday's water tank fell.

Scenes from the 1986 film Running Scared, with Gregory Hines and Billy Crystal, were filmed at the building.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation, officials said.

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