A Jury Verdict Research found that the median money damages award for personal injury lawsuits that go to trial in Illinois is $26,624. Plaintiffs receive damages in 51 percent of cases that go to trial.
Unlike average jury verdict statistics, median jury verdict data blunts larger cases, including the approximately 8% of jury verdicts in Illinois that were over $1 million.
14 Interesting Jury Verdicts and Settlements in Illinois in 2013
- September 2013, Illinois: $2,412,358 Verdict: A 27 year old marketing professional is conducting a photo shoot at the intersection of Rush and Cedar Street. During the shoot, he is standing in the middle of the intersection when he is suddenly struck by a city truck owned and operated by a Chicago Streets and Sanitation Worker. The driver of the vehicle loses control after striking the young professional and collides with a group of people standing on the adjacent sidewalk.
The man who was struck is taken by an ambulance to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. There, he is diagnosed with multiple fractures including fractures to his tibia and fibula in his right leg, fractures to his lumbar spine and must receive a rod installation in his right leg. He is required to remain in the hospital for 8 days following the accident. After being discharged, fives months of physical therapy and wear a torso brace during recovery. A little less than a year after the initial accident, the man receives an open reduction procedure to repair a non-union to his fibula and recovers in the hospital for an additional 4 days. His recovery does begin to steady as he slowly progresses from being wheelchair-bound to walking with a cane. He is facing permanent difficulty with walking as a result of his injuries and continues to receive psychiatric treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. The man brings suit against the driver and his employer, the city of Chicago, for negligent operation of a motor vehicle. Plaintiff’s treating doctors testify that due to his injuries, he has an increased risk of developing arthritis in his right ankle and a 16 to 20% loss of range of motion in the ankle. The jury finds negligence on the part of the defense and awards the plaintiff $2,412,258 in damages.
- September 2013, Illinois: $200,000 Verdict: A private security officer is driving northbound on Plymouth Court in Chicago. She begins to drive through the intersection of Plymouth and Congress Parkway when she is suddenly T-boned by an ambulance travelling eastbound. There, she is rushed to NorthwesterMemorialHospital in Chicago. She is diagnosed with a cervical sprain. Since her accident she has undergone multiple MRIs, received an epidural injection, and frequently visits a physical therapist’s office. She files suit against the driver and his employer for negligent operation of a vehicle. She claims the driver was negligent in failing to yield to a traffic signal. Using video taken by the ambulance’s dashboard cameras evidence, she claims the driver failed to stop at a red light, which would have avoided the collision all-together. She claims that due to the injuries from the accident, she is no longer able to perform daily household activities and missed up to six months of work. The defense disputes the extent of the woman’s injuries, claiming that her neck injuries were caused by a pre-existing degenerative condition and that the cervical discs had no compression. The jury finds the defendants at fault for the plaintiff’s injuries and awards her $200,000.
- September 2013, Illinois: $3,000,000 Settlement: A 49 year-old woman receives a pelvis ultrasound that reveals two leiomyomata (a benign smooth muscle neoplasm) on her left ovary measuring 1.5 cm in diameter and 1.4 cm by 2.1 cm by 1.9. Two months later she returns to the hospital complaining of pelvic pain and receives a pelvic MRI. The MRI reveals a mass legion in the central pelvis. She undergoes an exploratory laparotomy where a large mass on her left ovary measuring 12.6 cm is discovered. The mass is removed and biopsied. She is diagnosed with Grade III ovarian gland cancer. It is discovered that the cancer had spread from her ovaries to her fallopian tube wall, bladder and bowel. She files a medical malpractice suit against the physicians who conducted the initial pelvic ultrasound. She claim they failed to properly diagnose the ovarian gland cancer by neglecting to order additional diagnostic testing after reviewing the plaintiff’s signs and symptoms. The parties agree to settle before trial, on the grounds that the matter and identities of the parties remain confidential. They settle in the amount of $3,000,000.
- September 2013, $100,000 Settlement: A retired man arrives at St.FrancisHospital in Evanston for a scheduled cardiac catheterization procedure. During the procedure, a film reveals 50 percent blockage on his left side and 90 percent on his right. The cardiologist marks the film and informs Northern Illinois Cardiovascular and Thoracic Specialists that an endarterectomy is to be performed on the left side of the body. It is not discovered until during the surgery that the cardiologist did not mark the proper side on the film and the retiree is required undergo yet another surgery, this time on the right side of the body, to prevent a possibility of a stroke. He sues the performing surgeon, Northern Illinois Cardiovascular and Thoracic Specialists, and the hospital for negligence in performing the surgery on the wrong side of his body. The performing surgeons and the hospital are dismissed from the case prior to resolution. Plaintiff’s expert cardiologist testifies that hospital cardiologist did not properly marked the film. The defendants argue that the plaintiff did not suffer any injuries from the surgical error. The parties agree to settle for $100,000.
- September 2013, Illinois: $16,000 Settlement: A 50 year-old accountant is traveling on Schaumburg Road and approaches its intersection at Trails Drive. While stopped at a red light, she is rear-ended. She is transported via ambulance to AlexianBrothersMedicalCenter. After hospital treatment, she follows up with an orthopedic doctor who diagnoses an aggravation of a pre-existing condition in her right hip. The condition originated from when she was in a car accident as young child that required her to have pins and rods installed into her hip. She receives physical therapy treatment for the aggravated condition. The woman sues the driver who rear-ended her for negligent operation of a motor vehicle. She claims the driver failed to stop to avoid an accident, causing the aggravation. The two parties settle in the amount of $16,000.
- September 2013, Illinois: $29,065 Verdict: A cell-phone salesman is walking in the crosswalk at the intersection of May and Erie Street in Chicago. While crossing, he is struck by vehicle operated by a man on his way home from work. The salesman is taken by ambulance to Our Lady of the ResurrectionMedicalCenter. He is treated and diagnosed with having two disc bulges and three transverse process fractures. Two months after he was struck, he visits an orthopedist who prescribes physical therapy, pain medication and a back brace. He also places the man on permanent lifting restrictions. The plaintiff sues the driver of the vehicle for failing to maintain a proper lookout and negligence for driving at an excessive rate of speed. Plaintiff’s treating orthopedic specialist testifies that the plaintiff will require yearly follow-ups for the remainder of his life. To the defense counsel’s dismay, the jury awards the plaintiff in the amount of $29,065.
- September 2013, Illinois: $10,500 Settlement: A man is riding his bicycle down Diversey Parkway in Chicago. While riding, he collides with an opened door of a vehicle. He is consequently thrown off his bike, over the door of the car and into the street. He is taken by ambulance to a local hospital and is treated for minor head injuries. He files suit against the driver for negligently opening his car door into the lane of traffic. The parties agree to settle in the amount of $10,500.
- August 2013, Illinois: $75,000 Settlement: While driving his vehicle, a man is attempting to make a left turn onto 63rd Street in Chicago. While turning, he is struck by a westbound travelling tow truck. The man and his passenger are taken by ambulance to University of Chicago Hospital. He is diagnosed and treated for soft-tissue injuries in his should, neck and back. His passenger is required to undergo an emergency procedure to repair a fracture. Both require physical therapy for their injuries. Both the driver and passenger of the struck vehicle sue the tow truck operator, his employer and the owner of the company for liability. They claim the operator was negligently operating the tow truck and crossed into the eastbound lane of 63rd street, causing the collision. The parties agree to settle for a combined total of $75,000, the driver receiving $25,000 and his passenger receiving $50,000.
- August 2013, Illinois: $45,000 Verdict: A police officer receives a domestic disturbance call while driving southbound on Burnham Avenue in Lansing. Upon receiving the call, he turns on his lights and siren. He approaches the intersection of Burnham and 178th Street and triggers the light to change green. A vehicle being driver by a teenage boy is attempting to make a left turn into a dollar store parking lot. The police officer strikes the teenager’s vehicle. An ambulance is called and the teenager is taken to a local hospital emergency room. There, he is treated for a head laceration that requires up to 27 stales just to close the wound and diagnosed with having a concussion. On behalf of her minor son, the boy’s mother sues the officer and his employer for failing to avoid an accident and travelling at an excessive speed. Plaintiff’s counsel claim that upon impact, the officer was driving at 65 mph in a 35 mph zone. They point out that after the accident it was discovered by the officer’s employer that he violated the internal standards for emergency operation. The defendants denied negligence and allege the fault was that of the plaintiff. They allege the plaintiff was playing loud music in his vehicle which prevented him from hearing the oncoming siren. The plaintiff argues with the claim, stating he heard the siren at least 15 seconds before the impact. The defense also argues that had the plaintiff turned right instead of left, he would have effectively avoided the police vehicle. The jury finds the defendants liable for the collision and awards the plaintiff $45,000.
- August 2013, $15,000 Settlement: A 75 year-old woman is walking on an ADA ramp at the intersection of 111th Street and Eberhart Avenue. Her foot is caught on an exposed wire and she subsequently trips and falls. Due to the fall, she suffers from injuries to her face. She sues the city of Chicago, claiming negligence in failing to properly maintain the ramp. A witness testifies that the exposed wire the woman tripped over had been on the ramp for at least six months prior to the incident. Plaintiff’s counsel claims that the city had been informed of the dangerous defect multiple times and failed to fix it. The defense argues that the wire the woman tripped on was in the open and very apparent. They claim the wire was clearly visible in broad daylight and she should have been well aware of it as she uses the ramp almost daily while taking her granddaughter to school. The parties agree to settle before trial in the amount of $15,000.
- June 2013, Illinois: $16,500 Settlement: An office clerk is walking on Randolph Street and attempting to cross over Clark Street. She trips over a crack in the crosswalk and consequently falls forward. She is taken by ambulance to NorthwesternMemorialHospital and is diagnosed and treated for a broken nose and facial lacerations. She brings suit against the city of Chicago for failing to properly maintain the crosswalk. She claims that due to the city’s negligence, she is permanently disfigured from her broken nose and that due to an unrelated heart condition she is unable to receive plastic surgery. Plaintiff’s counsel points out that the city had received multiple notices of the defective crosswalk and this was not the first incident in which a pedestrian had been injuredthemselves. The defendant agreed to settle with the plaintiff in the amount of $16,500.
- May 2013, Illinois: $1,000,000 Settlement: A 61 year-old choir participant is rehearsing with her choir at Ingleside Whitefield United Methodist choir in preparation for a Christmas performance. After rehearsing, she attempts to exit a row and trips over a raised platform in the aisle. She is taken to JohnH. Stroger Jr.Hospital in CookCounty. There, she is treated for a fracture to her forehead and three cervical fractures. She remains in the hospital for 8 days following her fall. She receives a multilevel fusion repair to the damage in her neck and now requires weekly treatment with a physical therapist. The woman sues the charge for premises liability. The church pastor testifies that the platform was indeed a hazard as it was painted to match the carpet, blocked the center aisle and low to the ground. He claims he had instructed a church employee to remove the platform prior to the choir rehearsal but the employee did not adhere to his instruction. The parties agree to settle before trial in the astonishing amount of $1,000,000.
- May 2013, Illinois: $2,244,063 Verdict: A 63 year-old woman is prescribed the drug Humira for her rheumatoid arthritis. The drug is designed to ease the pains of those suffering from arthritis by inhibiting the inflammatory response of joints and tissues. This is done by suppressing the patient’s immune system. Seven months after the initial prescription, the woman visits the emergency room complaining of chest pains and fevers. It takes two weeks after admitting the woman to diagnose her with disseminated histoplasmosis, a severe fungal infection that can result in multiple organ failures. She is discharged from the hospital and admitted into an inpatient rehabilitation center. She passes less than a year later from a heart attack. The woman’s husband sues Abbott Laboratories (the drug manufacturer) on behalf of his wife for negligence. He claims the failed to timely provide adequate warnings to the doctors regarding the increased risk for a fungal infection. Plaintiff’s counsel claims that one year prior to woman being prescribed the drug, the FDA alerted all TNF blocker manufacturers about the risk of these types of drugs. They claim the defendants did not alert physicians of this danger until almost 2 years after the initial FDA alert. The defendant argued that adequate warnings were given to physicians and also included stronger warning labels of the risk of histoplasmosis. The jury found the defendants failed to timely alert the doctors of the risks of Humira and were liable for the plaintiff’s reaction to the drug.
- More on Illinois Accident Verdicts (data from 2002-2007)