Jury Award Concerning O’Hare Shelter Collapse That Paralyzed Woman

There have been many serious injuries – including some fatal – that have occurred due to poorly maintained infrastructure in Chicago and the Chicago area.  Many of these accidents and accompanying injuries have been summarized on this site.

The causes for these accidents is broad, and the infrastructure involved can take many forms.  Common causes for such accidents include infrastructure that is old (past useful life) and/or dilapidated, or hasn’t been properly maintained.  Infrastructure involved includes unsafe sidewalks, streets, sewers, roofs, street lights, and traffic signal poles.

Another type of infrastructure that is prone to collapse is public shelters, such as those at bus stops.

One such shelter collapse happened when high winds occurred at O’Hare Airport on August 2, 2015.  This accident was summarized in the post of August 14, 2015, titled “Lawsuit Filed Over Shelter Collapse At O’Hare Airport.”  While several members of a family were injured when the pedestrian shelter collapsed, one person, Tierney Darden, was paralyzed.

The trial over the personal injury lawsuit ended on August 23, 2017.  The jury in the Cook County jury trial awarded Tierney Darden $148 million.

The jury award is summarized in a number of media sources, including the August 23, 2017 dnainfo.com article titled “$148 Million Awarded To Dancer Paralyzed In O’Hare Bus Shelter Collapse” as well as the August 23 CBS News article titled “Jury awards $148M to woman paralyzed after airport accident.”  An excerpt from the dnainfo.com article:

Family members said the suburban woman, a former dancer and student at Truman College, has been in constant pain since the accident on Aug. 2, 2015. She was returning to Chicago from a trip to Minneapolis to shop for bridesmaid dresses when a storm came through the area and a pedestrian shelter weighing 750 pounds loosened and fell on top of her.


She is now paralyzed from the waist down and a pain expert testified her spine “stretched until it popped and ripped.”

Attorneys said the shelter was missing bolts, and an investigation “found other shelters at O’Hare that were poorly maintained with missing bolts, corroded parts or broken brackets.”

Additional information can be seen in the sources mentioned above.


Should you or someone you care for experience injury or other harm in Illinois, please contact the Elman Joseph Law Group for a free consultation to discuss the situation and to see if filing of a personal injury lawsuit is warranted.

Elman Joseph Law Group’s Lead Attorney, Tony Elman, is a personal injury trial lawyer.  Over the last 20+ years Elman Joseph Law Group has handled over 10,000 Illinois personal injury lawsuits.

During this 20+ year period, Elman Joseph Law Group has built a reputation for its courtroom trial performance, including getting large verdicts for smaller cases.  In fact, because of these court trial accomplishments, many well-known law firms choose to have Elman Joseph Law Group take cases to court.

To speak directly to Tony Elman, Lead Attorney of the Elman Joseph Law Group, call (773) 392-8182 at any time.  This legal consultation is free.

Elman Joseph Law Group works on a “contingency” basis…Elman Joseph Law Group’s clients never pay a fee unless and until they receive monetary compensation.

Elman Joseph Law Group, LLC handles Chicago area and other Illinois personal injury lawsuits as well as wrongful death lawsuits.

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