Chicago law firm Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard won a record $148 million for a 24-year-old dancer who was paralyzed by a collapsed pedestrian shelter at O’Hare International Airport. The incident occurred in 2015, when Tierney Darden was a dancer and student at Truman College, and caused a severe spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed from the waist down.
After a 10-day trial led by attorneys Patrick A. Salvi, Jeffrey J. Kroll, Tara R. Devine, Patrick A. Salvi II, and Eirene N. Salvi, the jury sided with the plaintiff in a record-setting verdict that was more than twice the state’s previous compensatory $64 million record.
“This is a verdict these jurors can be proud of and exactly what Tierney deserves. We are thankful to these 12 people for fully recognizing Tierney’s injuries and helping her move on with her life,” Patrick A. Salvi said.
A storm rolled through the area on Aug. 2, 2015 Darden Tierney and her mother and sister waited to be picked up at O’Hare Airport. It was then when a pedestrian shelter weighing more than 750 pounds loosened and fell onto Tierney.
It was determined the shelter had missing bolts. An investigation later found other shelters at O’Hare Airport were poorly maintained, with missing bolts, corroded parts, or broken brackets. Five months prior to trial, the city of Chicago admitted wrongful conduct for the incident that dramatically changed Tierney’s life.
“The city of Chicago’s wrongful conduct forever changed the course of Tierney’s life. She will never walk or dance again. The city didn’t just take away the lower half of her body that day, they amputated her spirit and her soul,” Darden’s attorney Jeffrey J. Kroll said during opening statements.
Read more about the incident here.