More unstable bus shelters found in Chicago just months after $148 million verdict

CHICAGO (Jan. 2, 2018) – More broken and corroded bus shelters have been found all over the city of Chicago just months after Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard obtained a $148 million verdict for a young woman left paralyzed when an O’Hare Airport bus shelter fell on top of her.

On August 2, 2015, 24-year-old Tierney Darden was standing with her mother and 19-year-old sister outside of the airport after returning to Chicago from a trip to Minnesota. A storm rolled through the area as the women were waiting to be picked up and a pedestrian shelter weighing more than 750 pounds became loose and fell onto Tierney.

Tierney, who was a dancer and student at Truman College at the time, sustained dislocated vertebrae at T11-T12, which resulted in the most rare and significant type of spinal cord injury, a severed spinal cord that left her paralyzed from the waist down. It was determined the shelter that injured Tierney had missing bolts and five months prior to trial, the city of Chicago admitted wrongful conduct for the incident that dramatically changed Tierney’s life.

After a 10 day trial, our firm obtained a record-breaking $148 million jury verdict for Tierney.

But just three short months later, CBS 2 investigators found more bus shelters in need of repair all over the city, with corrosion and broken parts. Some of the shelters were found with missing bolts or brackets needed to secure the shelter so the glass doesn’t shatter or fall onto people.

A record of 311 calls since 2015 about bus shelters revealed there have been more than 1,100 calls for various kinds of broken glass complaints.

A metallurgist with the Illinois Institute of Technology, looked at a rusted shelter found at Midway Airport and said he was “surprised to see corrosion of that extent, given just three months ago the city was on the losing end of a $148 million verdict after failing to maintain numerous O’Hare Airport bus shelters,” including the one that fell on our client, Tierney Darden.

“I would have thought they’d learned their lesson,” he told CBS 2’s Dave Savini.

Depending on location, Chicago bus shelters are maintained by different agencies. To report a potentially dangerous shelter, call 311.

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