Articles Posted in Leg Injuries

The Illinois Appellate Court has upheld a record-breaking $21.4 million jury verdict for a railroad conductor after his heel was irreparably damaged at a railyard.

The Illinois Appellate Court for the 1st District rejected all of Norfolk Southern Railway Co.’s attempts to either vacate or reduce the verdict signed by the jury in favor of the plaintiff, Michael Parsons.

Parsons’s November 2015 jury verdict was the largest reported verdict or settlement for a heel-related injury in Cook County. Norfolk Southern was unable to persuade the 1st District Illinois Appellate Court that the jury’s verdict went against the evidence and that the defendant railroad was prejudiced by the jury instructions.

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Tom Gillette parked his pickup truck in a residential neighborhood in Everett, Wash. He was there doing construction work on a home. As he was unloading sawhorses from the back of his truck, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Deputy John Sadro, who was transporting a witness to court, ran a stop sign while traveling 49 mph in a 25 mph zone. Another motorist, who had the right-of-way, broadsided the police cruiser, causing it to spin around and strike Gillette, pinning him between the police cruiser and the bumper of his truck.

Gillette was 59 years old at the time; he suffered severe crush injuries to both of his legs, which were almost fully traumatically amputated at the scene. He was hospitalized and nearly died from blood loss. Doctors were unable to save either of his legs. His left leg was amputated just below the knee while his right leg was amputated at the knee.

Gillette underwent more than 12 surgeries and spent nearly two months in the hospital. Now he uses a wheelchair and requires some assistance with daily living activities. His past medical expenses totaled more than $425,000 and his future care costs are estimated at more than $1,300,000.

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Ricky Murphy rode his bicycle across the street at an intersection when a motor vehicle driven by the defendant Stephen Lane Hare collided with him. Murphy who was 49 at the time suffered a fractured left ankle and tibia.

Because of the fractures, his ankle developed necrosis, which will necessitate a future ankle fusion surgery or an ankle replacement. Murphy’s medical expenses totaled $44,000.

As a landscaper, he was earning approximately $20,000 per year.  Now he is unable to do that job and works as a Salvation Army intake clerk at a reduced salary.

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On May 23, 2008, the plaintiff in this case, Carla C. Hudson, 43, was stopped at a red light on northbound Walnut Lane at Golf Road in Schaumburg, Ill.  The pickup truck driven by the defendant Barry McDonald, a Schaumburg Park District employee, was stopped directly in front of Hudson’s vehicle.

The pickup truck was hauling a rowboat, which stuck out several feet behind the truck’s tailgate, blocking McDonald’s view.

Hudson contended the truck suddenly reversed without warning and backed into her car causing her injuries. She sustained ruptured tendons and 4th and 5th fingers of her right hand, which required surgery.  She also claimed an unoperated knee surgery and cervical/lumbar spinal injuries. Hudson brought a lost time from work claim of $9,540 as a Navy reservist. Her medical bills were $81,627.

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Darren Merlino, 47, worked for an electrical subcontractor. While working at a pump station, he fell 10 feet through an unguarded hole in the floor. Merlino suffered fractures to his left ribs, wrist and elbow and a torn left meniscus among other injuries. He now suffers from headaches, seizures and memory problems.

Merlino’s expenses were $127,000. He incurred lost income of about $1.43 million.

Merlino and his wife brought a lawsuit against the job’s general contractor, Powell Constructors, alleging that two of its employees wrongfully removed a metal grate from the floor and chose not to erect a barrier or place warning signs about the hole in the floor, in violation of state labor law and the common law.

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The Illinois Supreme Court has overturned the Illinois Appellate Court decision regarding the cap on self-insured rental car companies. The Supreme Court reversed a $600,000 judgment against Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s Chicago area’s subsidiary.

The Supreme Court ruled that self-insured rental car companies are liable for a maximum of $100,000 toward all injured parties in a rental car crash.

The decision of the Supreme Court was unanimous. In 2007, a crash in which an Enterprise vehicle was involved, injured at least two individuals. Enterprise paid $75,000 to two of the people involved in the crash. Enterprise argued that it had responsibility  to pay only an additional $25,000 allowed under the cap to the plaintiff.

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On Aug. 18, 2009, Douglas Anoman, a radio technician employed by Bartronics LLC, was working at the defendants’ Scrap Metal Services LLC and SMS Mill Services LLC steel mill in Burns Harbor, Ind. The purpose of working there was to service a crane radio. After Anoman removed the radio from the overhead crane cab, he fell while descending a 6-foot ladder and fractured his knee.

Anoman, 46, initially underwent open reduction internal fixation surgery with surgically inserted plates and screws, but eventually he required a total knee replacement arthroplasty.

Anoman maintained at trial that he expended $175,575 for medical expenses and lost $1,035,000 for past and future work and/or reduced earnings as a radio technician.

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Grayco Communications was installing cable at the home of Steven Thomas when a ladder became stuck. Thomas, a retired firefighter, climbed up the ladder to dislodge it. He fell, suffering a compound leg fracture.

As a result of the severe leg fracture, he developed a bone infection that later required a below-the-knee amputation.

In the lawsuit he filed, he alleged that Grayco Communications and its employee chose not to place the ladder in a safe position, properly brace the ladder and otherwise make it safe for Thomas to climb it.

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The Illinois Appellate Court for the 1st District has affirmed a trial court’s decision regarding a settlement. Gary Hines and Lisa O’Rourke were in Chicago visiting Hines’s father, Norman, near the end of 2012. As the visit was ending, Norman drove the two to the airport. When they arrived, Norman Hines and O’Rourke began to take their luggage out of the trunk. E. James Davis was in a parking space behind them trying to pull out. His foot became trapped between the gas pedal and brake and the car accelerated striking both Norman Hines and O’Rourke and pinning them against the car. Both Norman Hines and O’Rourke suffered severe injuries and filed a lawsuit against Davis.

Hines and O’Rourke hired a lawyer to represent both of them but filed separate lawsuits. When Hines died on May 20, 2013, David Hines and Diane Galante filed as special administrators of Norman Hines’s estate and continued the lawsuit on the estate’s behalf.

Davis offered $1.3 million, the limit of his policy of insurance, in exchange for dismissal of all of the claims for both plaintiffs. The plaintiffs were given 21 days to respond, and after the 21 days the lawyer told the judge that they had failed to reach an agreement.

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Sara Hendricks, 32, was driving her passenger vehicle through an intersection when Matthew Mullin, who was driving a farm truck hauling grain for his employer, pulled out from a stop sign into Hendricks’s path. Her car hit the side of the farm truck driven by Mullin.

Hendricks suffered fractures to her right ankle and femur near her knee. She underwent multiple ankle surgeries, including a fusion, and surgery to repair the femur fracture.

Hendricks’s past medical expenses totaled $276,000. She was a special education teacher and lost $69,000 in earnings because of her injuries. Because of the injuries and surgeries, Hendricks has a fused ankle, which has made it difficult for her to participate in activities requiring her to stand or walk for an extended period of time.

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