CHICAGO (CBS) — A lawyer for the family of a man killed Sunday when strong winds toppled a tent at a festival in Wood Dale is promising the incident will be extensively litigated.

Steven Nincic, 35, was taking shelter from a thunderstorm inside a large canvas tent at Prairie Fest on Sunday, when a strong gust of wind caused the tent to collapse.

His wife and two children made it to safety before the tent collapsed, but attorney Louis Cairo said Nincic was killed when a steel support pole fell on him.

“Mr. Nincic was standing next to two police officers that actually advised him and his family to get underneath the tent to protect them, and unfortunately he was knocked down by one of these massive poles, as well as both police officers,” Cairo said.

Cairo said he intends to file a lawsuit against Wood Dale and the tent company, Classic Party Rental, by the end of the week.

He also said he hopes there has been no evidence tampering in the wake of the deadly incident. Cairo said he visited the site of Prairie Fest a day after the tent collapse to take photos of the scene, inspect how stakes had been put in the ground, check conditions of tent straps, and more, but did not like what he saw.

“I noticed that the tent company had taken the tent down completely, had pulled all the stakes. They had all the stakes, and the poles, and the straps all in a big pile, almost looking like garbage,” he said. “All those straps that were torn are vital evidence to establishing whether these were brand new straps in good condition, and they tore under the pressure of the wind; or they were just damaged straps that had nicks, scratches, cuts, frays.”

Cairo said he has asked Classic Party Rental to preserve all the equipment from Sunday.

In a blog post on his law firm’s website, Cairo said the village of Wood Dale could be sued for not clearing the tent before the storm blew through.

“The true tragedy to this situation is that matters such as this are not only potentially predictable, they are preventable with prudent caution and control of events in the face of available meteorological information,” Cairo wrote.

Cairo said the incident “will be litigated exhaustively.”

He said he’ll argue, unlike what happened when a storm was coming at Lollapalooza in Grant Park on Sunday, and crowds were evacuated to find shelter, there was nothing of the sort in Wood Dale.

“According to the people I’ve spoken with, there were no PA (public address) announcements,” he said. “There’s a stage there, with the band that’s ready to play. The microphones are there. Nobody gets on and says ‘Everybody get to your cars. A bad storm is coming. We don’t want you underneath this tent.’ They basically told people to go under the tent.”

He said weather reports on the day of the storm gave officials in Wood Dale sufficient basis to cancel the festival, and evacuate the tent, but that was not done.

Cairo says emergency plans were simply ignored.

“There was an evacuation plan that was on paper,” Cairo said. “It was planned by some entity on behalf of or in the city of Wood Dale and it was stuck in a drawer and it was never implemented.”

The plan, says Cairo, directed guests inside wood dale junior high…located adjacent to athletic fields where the fest was staged. Instead, he says, when the storm hit, police sent guests under the tent.

Records show the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning, including for DuPage County, at 1:54 p.m., about an hour before the storm hit Prairie Fest. Then at 2:21 p.m., there was another warning about storms over Bartlett and Carol Stream, just 10 miles away.

Nineteen minutes later, at 2:40 p.m., the storm devastated Prairie Fest.

Even companies renting big tents give this warning: “When you have a lightning storm in the vicinity, the best course of action is to evacuate the tent.”

Wood Dale and other officials were investigating what happened.

Classic Party Rentals issued a statement on Tuesday: “We remain saddened by the news of the accident at the Dale Prairie Fest in Wood Dale. Safety is our number one priority at Classic Party Rentals. The incident is under investigation and we will cooperate with area police and the city as we are asked. Our thoughts are with those people who have been so impacted by this tragedy.”

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