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Wrongful death suit filed against employer of man killed by swan

We often think of workplace accidents with regards to machinery incidents, transportation crashes or even construction-related falls. The fatal accidents that involve biological causes are often overlooked, however. Workers may be injured or killed when they encounter wildlife on the job. That is exactly what happened to one Illinois man who drowned after he was attacked by a swan at a pond he was tending. That incident occurred two years ago; now, the man's wife is seeking financial damages in connection with his wrongful death.

The lawsuit alleges that the owner of the swans were aware that the animals were likely to attack. The swans are considered helpful for chasing away geese because swans are large and territorial. Experts say that it is possible that the owner of the animals may be held accountable for the fatal accident under the Illinois Animal Control Act. That legislation is designed to protect victims of animal attacks by holding the owners financially responsible for the creature's actions.

Official reports show that the woman has filed a lawsuit against his employer, Knox Swan and Dog, along with the residential complex where the man tended the swans. The victim was tasked with monitoring the pair of swans that had been placed at a pond at the Bay Colony Drive. The swans had been placed at the pond in an effort to keep geese away from that body of water.

One April morning in 2012, one of the swans attacked the victim while he was in his kayak in the pond. The bird continued to attack him, and the man died in the fatal boating accident because he could not get to shore in time. The man disappeared under water, and he was not found until crews conducted an extensive search of the 50-foot pond.

Source:  The Chicago Tribune, "Wife of Villa Park man who died after swan attack files suit" Meredith Rodriguez, Apr. 16, 2014

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