Falling piece of gargoyle statue leads to wrongful death suit against church

By Annie Cosby | Sep 15, 2014

The family of a woman who died earlier this month after being hit by a piece of an ornamental gargoyle that fell from the building of a South Loop church has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

Lance Johnson, as special administrator of the Estate of Sarah Bean, filed suit Sept. 8 in Cook County Circuit Court against Presbytery of Chicago and Second Presbyterian Church of Chicago.

According to the complaint, Bean and Johnson were walking along the sidewalk by the defendants' premises on South Michigan Avenue in Chicago on Sept. 4, when a piece of decorative metal broke off the building and struck a stone ornamental gargoyle, a piece of which then fell and struck Bean.

Johnson, who also filed the suit on behalf of the couple's son, alleges his girlfriend died of the blunt force trauma and accuses the defendants of letting the building fall into disrepair.

He is seeking more than $50,000 in damages and is represented by attorney Michael S. Keating of Keating Law Offices in Chicago.

The case number is Cook County Circuit Court case 2014L009341.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt and it only represents one side of the story.

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