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Woman Awarded $4.5 Million in Premises Liability Lawsuit

Posted on in Premises Liability

Woman Awarded $4.5 Million in Premises Liability LawsuitAn Aurora, Ill., woman recently received a $4.5 million judgment as a result of a personal injury lawsuit filed against Wells Fargo. The injury took place in 2012, when the woman was walking into a Wells Fargo mortgage retail office in Aurora. A metal door closer unit detached and hit her in the head, causing immediate injury and long-term disability. The judgment included:

  • $1.25 million for her disability;
  • $1.25 million for her pain and suffering;
  • $1 million for emotional distress; and
  • More than $500,000 for medical expenses.

The judgment is reportedly the largest ever awarded for a personal injury lawsuit in DuPage County that was not a medical malpractice case. The jury needed only two hours to reach its decision in the case. Before the trial, Wells Fargo had attempted to settle with the plaintiff by offering $125,000.

Unsafe Building Conditions

This personal injury case falls into the category of premises liability. The owner and operator of a building are responsible for ensuring the safety of visitors by:

  • Taking reasonable measures to maintain a safe environment; and
  • Warning visitors of hazards that are not readily apparent.

In the recent case, the plaintiff used the only entrance that was available to her and could not have foreseen the equipment failure. Both Wells Fargo and the building’s owner, Cannella NY Square, LLC, were deemed liable for the equipment failure because they had not properly inspected and maintained the door. Wells Fargo was considered 80 percent at fault and will pay a proportionate amount of the judgment.

Health Consequences

The plaintiff’s injury aggravated pre-existing health conditions that she had been diagnosed with, including multiple sclerosis and a degenerative disease in her neck. The neck condition, known as spondylosis, is not guaranteed to develop debilitating symptoms. As a result of her injury, her spondylosis worsened and required:

  • A posterior and anterior cervical fusion in her neck; and
  • Placing an intrathecal pain pump in her spinal cord.

When plaintiffs seek compensation in a personal injury lawsuit, they must consider their long-term costs. An injury may require continued medical treatments or develop into a permanent disability. The plaintiff also has a right to request compensation for damages not related to medical expenses, such as personal suffering, lost wages and a decreased quality of life.

Premises Liability Lawsuits

If you were injured due to unsafe conditions at a public or private facility, you may be able to receive compensation. A Barrington, Ill., personal injury attorney at Joseph M. Lucas & Associates, LLC, can show that the negligence of the facility owner caused your injuries. To schedule a consultation, call 847-381-8700.


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