A recent ruling by the Illinois Appellate Court upheld a lower court decision that reinstated a $25 million settlement reached between a yacht manufacturer and a man who became a quadriplegic after a fall aboard one of the company’s vessels. While many people may never have an occasion to ride aboard a yacht, the case is nevertheless a useful illustration of how, with the help of skilled Illinois injury attorneys, one can achieve a successful result, whether that comes via a settlement or a verdict, and whether your injury is aboard a yacht or in an auto accident.
The underlying lawsuit arose from a terrible accident aboard a yacht. Scot, while hosting a party, fell from the vessel’s upper deck, and the eventual impact broke his neck, leaving him a quadriplegic. Scot and his wife launched a personal injury lawsuit against the yacht’s manufacturer as well as the entity that owned and chartered the vessel. Scot’s lawsuit alleged that the yacht was defective because it lacked proper railings or other protection around the edge of the boat deck. The two defendants were also negligent in that they improperly failed to prevent Scot “from accessing areas without railings” and failed “to warn about the lack of railings.”
The injured man settled with the owner and continued pursuing his case against the manufacturer. The decision regarding whether or not to settle your case before trial can be one of the more important choices in a case. A successful outcome after a trial may result in a larger recovery, but a pre-trial settlement offers a payment that is certain and more swiftly available and comes without the stress and other challenges of going to trial. Depending on the details of your case, it may make sense, as the plaintiff did here, to pursue some defendants and settle with others before trial.