On Wednesday, a Cook County jury awarded a woman $148 million, who was left paralyzed by a collapse on O’Hare International Airport bus shelter. The incident took place two years ago, when the woman was standing under the bus shelter during a storm in August, and the shelter collapsed.
The 26-year-old, Tierney Darden, from Vernon Hills, was greatly injured by the shelter collapse cried when Judge Clare McWilliams announced the jury’s final verdict. The trial took place at the Chicago Daley Center courtroom and took 7 days, and four hours of deliberation.
Her attorney Patrick Salvi during an interview outside the courtroom said: “Tierney was a victim of the wrongful conduct presented by the City at O’Hare, which caused her such a devastating injury.” He added, “We are grateful for the jury, who recognized the severity of Tierney’s injury, and the issues she will have to face in life”.
According to a spokesperson from Tierney’s law firm. The payable amount is the largest sum the city has ever had to pay for a personal injury case.
According to Patrick Salvi. On August 2nd, 2015 Tierney was a dance student and was standing right next to her mother and sister outside the airport. The street was on a lower level and offers direct access to Terminal 2. They have just returned from Chicago to Minneapolis, where they went shopping for bridesmaid dresses for a wedding. When the storm rolled in, they decided to take shelter under the bus shelter while waiting for their ride. As the storm gained more momentum, the shelter became loose and fell right on Tierney.
The fall was at such an angle that it severed her spinal cord, and she was left paralyzed. Now, she has no movement from the waist down, according to her lawyers. Before the accident occurred Tierney lived an independent life in Chicago, where she was attending the Truman College. However, due to the accident, she had to move back with her father and lives in Vernon Hills.
The extensive research and investigation showed the bus shelter has missing bolts that lead to the accident. The investigation confirmed that the bus shelters were hardly maintained, and were in poor condition. The mission bolts were paired with the broken brackets or the corroded parts. Which lead to the horrible accident that change Tierney life.
Her lawyers added that after two years, the city of Chicago finally admitted liability, for the injuries that Tierney suffered. The trial was taken on to ensure that the city realized its fault, and they must better maintain their shelters. Which turned out to be a great settlement for Tierney that will help live her life in as much comfort as possible. The jury decided that she has a long road ahead of her, and must be compensated accordingly.
When the city was asked for comment, they did not have anything to add on the matter, and later issues a public statement.