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Hydraulic baler press machine for plastic waste recycling

Family blames recyclers for 1997 crushing death

Donnelly family files lawsuit

By Steve Silverman
Pantagraph staff

Nearly two years after Harold Donnelly’s crushed remains were found encased in a bale of cardboard at a Normal recycling plant, a lawsuit has been filed alleging the Bloomington man’s death resulted from hazardous conditions at the plant.

The wrongful death lawsuit was filed against Weyerhaeuser Co., on behalf of Donnelly’s five children, who include two minors. The suit seeks damages in excess of $50,000. A company spokesperson could not be reached for comment.

The lawsuit accused the company of failing to ensure a safe environment at the recycling plant and failing to post warnings about potential hazards posed by the compactor in which 49-year-old Donnelly was crushed within a 1,000-pound bale of compressed recyclables.

Howard Ankin, a Chicago attorney representing the family, raised doubts about whether Donnelly should have been permitted to enter the recycling center, as he was not an employee.

“This was a violent, gruesome death for this gentleman, and whether he should have been on the premises is in question,” Ankin said.

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Family blames recyclers for death

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