Lawyers from Power Rogers & Smith, L.L.P. won a jury verdict of nearly $86 million on behalf of a plaintiff whose legs were crushed in a crane operation accident.
The three-week trial concluded this week in Cook County, Illinois. Robert Montagano, now 53, was working as a truck driver on July 1, 2014, transporting several bundles of carbon steel tubing on his trailer bed. The steel bundles were loaded into two rows, with five full bundles and one partial bundle of carbon steel tubing on the bottom row. After arriving at the delivery location, while the crane operator attempted to unload the top row of steel bundles, the bundle loaded on top of the partial bundle rolled out of place and fell on Montagano, crushing his legs.
The falling carbon steel tubes fractured his tibia and fibula, and also lacerated his right popliteal artery. Doctors initially amputated his right leg above the knee due to the crush injuries and blood loss, and later had to amputate his left leg above the knee after he developed a fungal infection.
Montagano’s attorneys, Joseph A. Power, Jr. and James I. Power, argued that the bundles of carbon steel tubing were not loaded properly onto his trailer bed, and that the defendants, Metal-Matic Inc., Leading Edge Group Inc., and Leading Edge Hydraulics Inc. were liable for his injuries.
The jury agreed and the award also covered his disfigurement, pain and suffering, emotional distress, necessary medical care and lost earnings benefits. According to Jury Verdict Reporter data, this is the single largest verdict secured in a lawsuit involving double leg amputations in Illinois.
“It was an honor to represent Mr. Montagano and his wife,” said Power, Jr. “We are thankful that the jury recognized that Defendants’ wrongful conduct caused this horrific and life-changing injury to occur.”