Chicago Construction Accident Survivor Secures $1.45 Million Settlement

A 75-year-old woman who suffered post-concussion syndrome in a construction accident has reached a settlement of $1.45 million just days before the start of her trial.

In January 2014, the plaintiff was working as a safe passage worker at Bowen High School after retiring from the U.S. Postal Service where she worked for many years. On her way to her vehicle at the end of  her 7 to 9 a.m. shift, she approached the crosswalk on Marquette and 88th Street where a construction company was working on a sewer project as the general contractor for the City of Chicago.

As the victim came to the crosswalk, her eyes met an employee of the construction company, who was in a marked company vehicle. He waved her through the crosswalk so she began to cross. The next thing our client remembered was being transported by ambulance and talking with the paramedics tending to her.

The defense argued that the plaintiff simply fainted and had not been struck by their equipment. They took that position despite having had no prior medical history of such and no environmental or other factors that would have caused her to faint. The defense’s arguments were ultimately unsuccessful after the plaintiff enlisted the help of attorney Stephen I. Lane, managing partner at Lane & Lane, LLC.

Our client’s injuries included vertigo (dizziness) so severe that even droplets of water from the shower can cause her debilitating dizziness. She also now requires a health aide for herself and her husband, whom she cared for prior to the accident. Our client also suffered a significant loss of her quality of life, as she is no longer able to run, dance, spend time alone, continue working at the high school, or participate in other activities she once found joy in as a socially active retiree.

As a result of her vertigo, our client required specialized therapy for her balance issues and mild brain impairments. She is no longer expected to reach further improvements.

The construction company’s negligence—not only in failing to block off the pedestrian walkway, but also the careless employee who waved her through the crosswalk—combined with the resulting suffering experienced by the victim, resulted in a settlement of $1.45 million.

This compensation will help our client to at least return some of her quality of life and will allow her to retain the healthcare assistance both she and her husband need to maintain their new standard of living. The settlement also ensures the negligent company is held to account for its negligence.

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