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Paralyzed Woman Sues Chicago for O'Hare Airport Accident

By George Khoury, Esq. on May 04, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The trial against the city of Chicago as a result of a serious injury accident at O'Hare Airport a few years ago is set to move forward soon, unless a settlement can be reached as to the monetary award. The city has assumed liability and admitted fault, leaving the court to determine the extent of the damages.

In 2015, Tierney Darden was standing in a shelter at O'Hare Airport in Chicago, when the 750 pound shelter collapsed on top of her. What's worse, the accident caused Ms. Darden's spinal cord to be severed, leaving her permanently paralyzed. Investigators discovered that the shelter Ms. Tierney was standing in had missing bolts and other obvious signs of inadequate maintenance.

Relief for the Shelters

Since the accident, investigators discovered that numerous other shelters around O'Hare were similarly not maintained, had missing pieces, or weren't secured to the ground properly. Additionally, since the accident, the shelters have been removed due to safety concerns prompted by the media's investigation.

Generally, a person will have an injury claim if they are injured as a result of poorly maintained property. Businesses and governments, as property owners/controllers, owe a duty to the public to keep properties safe for their intended and foreseeable uses. When an injury occurs that would have been avoidable if the property owner exercised reasonable care in keeping the property safe, the property owner can be found liable under a premises liability theory of negligence.

Permanent Life Changing Injuries

Frequently, because a seriously injured person may not be concerned about anything except recovering or adjusting, seeking legal help can fall by the wayside. When a person suffers a permanent, life changing injury, it is often just as difficult to understand what has happened, than it is to adjust to it.

Seemingly random accidents can often be the result of negligence. Ms. Tierney's case is exactly of this type. If no one looked into why the shelter fell, there might not have ever been a case to begin with. As such, after significant, life altering injuries, seeking a consultation with a personal injury attorney could prove illuminating.

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