TSA Officer Obtains $6 Million Recovery After Train Accident Inside O’Hare International Airport Terminal

Chicago Elevated TrainAny type of vehicle accident, whether it’s a car accident, truck accident, bus accident, or train accident, can inflict serious harm upon you and potentially have a permanent, life-altering impact on you. That’s why, if you’re injured in a crash, you need experienced Illinois injury attorneys representing you and working on your behalf. Your case may involve multiple types of damages claims, including medical expenses, lost wages, and other areas, both past and future. For a Transportation Safety Administration worker injured in a train crash, her case and her proof of her extensive injuries recently resulted in a $6 million damages award, according to a report from the Chicago Tribune.

The plaintiff was a TSA officer who, on the morning of March 24, 2011, was headed to work just like any other morning. She was aboard the Chicago Transit Authority’s blue line as it arrived at O’Hare International Airport. Shortly afterward, before 3 a.m., as the TSA worker prepared to disembark from the train, it crashed into an escalator in the airport. The newly employed train operator would later admit to having dozed off, according to the Tribune.

The CTA made operational changes after the crash, including “lowering the speed limit for trains approaching the O’Hare platform,” the report stated. The passengers injured in the crash also brought civil lawsuits to recover compensation for the damages they had suffered. The plaintiff in this lawsuit was one of the passengers to suffer the greatest harm. In many injury cases, the full extent of your injuries may not be immediately apparent. You may notice right away that you’ve hit your head or hurt your ankle, but there may be additional injuries related to the accident, especially soft tissue injuries. These additional injuries may be things that are hidden by the instantly noticeable issues or that simply do not present themselves until later.

This TSA worker’s situation was an example of that. She was standing in the sixth train car and holding a metal bar as she prepared to exit the train when the crash took place. She hit her head on the bar and a door, and she was diagnosed with a concussion, along with sprains of her neck and back. The neck, back, and head issues presented themselves immediately and were diagnosed right away. The woman, however, also suffered exacerbations of pre-existing problems that were not immediately apparent. These issues included degenerative disc disease and arthritis. The disc disease had been asymptomatic before the train accident. After the accident, she experienced symptoms. Ultimately, she had to undergo multiple surgeries, including a disc fusion in her neck and another fusion in her lumbar spine.

The plaintiff pursued her claim for compensation under a theory of negligence. The plaintiff’s case asserted that the CTA was liable for its negligence in failing to operate its train system in a safe manner and was also liable for its negligence in failing to make sure that its drivers were not operating its trains while fatigued.

In this woman’s case, her damages were extensive on a number of levels. Her past damages were large, given that the medical care she required as a result of the crash included, among other things, two significant surgeries. Her future damages were also sizable in that the harm she suffered permanently altered her physical health. Until that fateful day in March 2011, the plaintiff had been a TSA officer, a job filled with acts of standing, bending, lifting, and twisting. As a result of her injuries suffered in the crash, her body no longer could do that work, and the plaintiff was forced to transition into an administrative assistant job.

Based on all of this evidence, the jury entered a verdict for the plaintiff and awarded her damages of $6,654,000.

Whether you’re injured in a car accident, truck accident, pedestrian accident, or some other vehicle accident, you need experienced counsel who is familiar with handling these types of cases and addressing each type of harm you may have suffered. The diligent Chicago injury attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eagle, Eisenstein, Johnson & Bareck have been helping injured people pursue their proper recoveries for many years and are ready to speak to you. To set up a free case evaluation, contact us at 800-444-1525 or through our website.

More blog posts:

Balancing Burden Versus Benefit in Discovery in Illinois Injury Cases, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, June 6, 2017

Illinois Residents Injured in Indiana Bus Crash Defeat Effort to Move Their Case Out of State, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, May 8, 2017

Photo credit: Marcel “lazytom” Marchon
License: Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike Version 2.0