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.”