FedEx worker found dead during Chicago’s Polar Vortex

EAST MOLINE, IL  (February 1, 2019)  Authorities are reporting that a FedEx worker’s dead body was found outside a delivery hub in East Moline, Illinois Thursday morning.  The the 69-year-old employee  was discovered between two semi-trailers outside the freight facility by another FedEx employee around 9:30 a.m.

Is Chicago’s Polar Vortex to blame?

While the cause of death is still under investigation, it is believed that the historically low temperatures played a key role, and no foul play is suspected. An autopsy is scheduled for Feb. 4.

A FedEx representative said, “We are saddened by the loss of our team member and our sympathies go out to his family and friends. We are working with local authorities as they investigate.”

Temperatures across Illinois dropped well below freezing this week, with certain regions recording wind chills as low as -70 degrees Fahrenheit. A wind chill of just minus 25 can freeze skin within 15 minutes.

More than a dozen deaths have been linked to the extreme temperatures, including an 18-year-old University of Iowa student who was found not breathing outside of a campus building on Wednesday morning.

Could the employee’s death have been avoided?

The U.S. Postal Service even took the rare step of suspending mail delivery across much of the Midwest.

“Although all of the details of the FedEx employee’s passing are not fully known, business owners have a duty to protect their employees by providing a reasonably safe workplace. This includes protection from extreme weather conditions,” said top Chicago accident lawyer Mario Palermo of Palermo Law Group.

Free Consultation

If you are wondering if you have a case as the result of exposure to unreasonably dangerous conditions at your workplace and would like a free consultation, contact attorney Mario Palermo at (630) 684-2332.