Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyers & Illinois Injury Lawyers

A Chicagoland Electrician’s Crane Accident Leads to a $9.9M Jury Verdict

| Apr 29, 2019 | Workplace Injury |

When it comes to seeking, and obtaining, a substantial jury verdict in an injury case, there are often numerous components to a successful outcome. Even if you have not suffered a catastrophic injury (such as permanent paralysis), the injury you suffered may nevertheless have long-lasting or permanent negative impacts on your life. It is very important to have compiled (and presented) all the evidence you need to paint a truly clear picture of just how badly this injury has harmed you. To make sure you have the proof you need to get the compensation you deserve, be sure you have a skilled Chicago injury attorney on your side.

A case that demonstrated how the right kind of evidence can persuade a jury was the lawsuit filed by F.R. F.R. was an electrician who worked at a steel manufacturing plant in suburban Chicago. One day, while F.R. was in a lift to work on overhead light fixtures, a crane slammed into the lift, which caused F.R. to suffer major injuries to his finger, elbow, lower back, hip and shoulder.

The injured worker sued the steel company. In the trial, the steel company admitted liability and the court solely tried the issue of damages. F.R. presented considerable evidence to show how badly he was hurt, including providing multiple expert witnesses.

F.R. also had proof that the accident forever changed his life. His evidence showed that, before the accident, he lifted weights, gardened, fished and went boating. The injured man stopped lifting weights like he used to. He “lost interest” in fishing because it hurt to wade into the water, an outcome he found “disheartening.” He handed responsibility for his garden to his son.

Proof like this can go a long way in illustrating just how radically an injury has changed your life for the worse, both physically and mentally/emotionally.

At the end of the trial, the jury awarded the worker $9.9 million in damages.

After the verdict, the defense asked for a new trial. The company argued that the trial judge shouldn’t have allowed one of F.R.’s expert witnesses to testify about one particular future surgery that, in the expert’s opinion, the worker would eventually need. The expert, who was both a physician and a Ph.D. in occupational medicine, testified that, in his expert opinion, F.R. would need additional hip surgery at some point in the future.

On the basis of that allegedly improper testimony alone, the defense contended that the court should throw out what the first jury had decided. The appeals court did not agree and sided with the injured worker. The doctor’s testimony, in which he indicated that he would defer to a hip specialist regarding the particulars of the type of surgery F.R. would need, did not prove that the doctor lacked the competency to express an expert opinion about F.R.’s future hip surgery needs, it “merely goes to the scope of his opinion and the weight the jury would afford it.”

In other words, all of F.R.’s evidence was admissible and the $9.9 million judgment in his favor stood.

If you’ve been hurt in an accident, you need legal skill and experience on your side. Talk to the knowledgeable Chicago injury attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Our attorneys have been helping injured people for many years and are ready to handle your case. To set up a free case evaluation, contact us at 312-724-5846 or through our website.

More Blog Posts:

Illinois Railway Worker Obtains $21M Damages Award for Foot Injury Suffered in Railyard Accident, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, Nov. 17, 2017

What do I do when I am injured at work?, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, Aug. 15, 2017