Law Student Falls To Death At Union League Club

Updated: 12/28/10 3:36 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — An accomplished law student and former staffer for an Illinois Congressman fell to his death Christmas Eve at the Union League Club.

Eric Fatla, 26, fell Dec. 24 at the private club, located at 65 W. Jackson Blvd., and was pronounced dead at 1:02 p.m. Monday at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

Police said he fell two stories. An autopsy on Tuesday found Fatla died of multiple injuries from a fall from height and his death was ruled accidental, according to the medical examiner’s office.

Fatla was from south suburban Frankfort, and was home for the holidays. He attended law school at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and was scheduled to finish in 2014.

Fatla’s Facebook page said he was an alum of Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington and American University in Washington, D.C.

Fatla’s Linkedin account said he was working as director of operations at New World Group LLC. He was also a congressional staffer for former U.S. Congressman Jerry Weller (R-Ill.)

Fatla took his father, Ed, to the Union League Club on Christmas Eve, according to a blog post by Jonathan Turley, a legal scholar and professor at George Washington University. Before leaving the club, Ed Fatla went to the restroom. When he exited he found his son had fallen and was at the bottom of the stairs with grave injuries.

Turley said it is unclear how the first-year law student fell, but mentions he almost died of a brain hemorrhage in high school.

An autopsy on Fatla is scheduled for Tuesday, the medical examiner’s office said.

Fatla worked with a lobbying and law firm while attending class in the evenings, the blog said. He had gone to China on a research project, and to Honduras as an election monitor.

The Fatla family was not immediately available for comment.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Pat P

    RIP Eric. You were a fine young man

  • Law student falls to his death Christmas Eve at Union League Club

    […] for an Illinois Congressman fell to his death Christmas Eve at the Union League Club. Read more on CBS Chicago This entry was posted in Law and tagged Christmas, Club, death, falls, League, student, Union. […]

  • John G.

    As a guest who has attended many “highly powered” parties and special events at thus fine club, on and off since 1970, I can attest that I have seen some guests take a fumble down those stairs but can recall no injuries or even reports of anything serious.

    I find it ludicrrous that a young former military man in excellent shape, just having a quite dinner with his Dad, could possibly come to such a fate. These soldiers are well practiced in jumping from moving vehicles and crafts and conditioned for it.

    I myself have been up and down those stairs countless times over the decades. The angle just is not steep enough or the stairs high enough to cause such injuries – even for a senior citizen let along a former soldier in top physical shape.

    The UL is a den of Feds and hosts many big events for the FBI/CIA etc. The fact that this gentleman was so connected in his carrer with these folks and in this venue raises some very troubling concerns.

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