Paul Owens, a Philadelphia sheriff’s deputy who got paralyzed in a courthouse elevator crash case in 2016 was awarded $20.5 million.
Owens was working as a sergeant in the Sheriff's Office when the incident occurred on August 4, 2016. He was inside an employee elevator at the Criminal Justice Center at 13th and Filbert Streets, when the elevator rocketed out of the 15th-floor’s ceiling and smashed into an equipment room. The crash left Owens with severe injuries to his head, rib, vertebrae, and chest, and he was taken to Hahnemann University Hospital in a critical condition.
Owens and his wife filed a lawsuit in January 2017 claiming negligence, improper elevator maintenance, and repair for the unfortunate incident. The defendants named in the lawsuit were the Philadelphia Municipal Authority, the U.S. Facilities Inc., ThyssenKrupp Elevator Corp., and Schindler Elevator Corp. Additional defendants added through amended complaints were Otis Elevator Co. of Farmington, Conn., and Amtech Elevator Services.
On December 5, 2018, a Pulaski County jury awarded $3 million to a woman who lost her right toe while on an escalator at Little Rock mall in Arkansas during a Christmas shopping trip in 2013.
The woman, Aisha Siddiqui, who is a medical student did not file the lawsuit until 2014. According to her attorney Denise Hoggard, on December 10, 2013, Siddiqui's booted foot got lodged between the escalator steps at the Little Rock Shopping center and her toe was crushed and shredded as her foot was pulled into the moving staircase. The mall and the escalator manufacturer, Kone Inc. admitted negligent conduct for Siddiqui's lost toe ahead of the trial and allowed the jury headed by Circuit Judge Chris Piazza to decide on the damages. After two hours of deliberation, the jurors agreed that Siddiqui was eligible to receive $3 million for her past and future medical expenses, loss of pay, pain, suffering, and disfigurement. The woman underwent two surgeries amounting to six months of recovery, and her lawyer claimed her medical career is at stake as she is still recovering. Hoggard stated, “we still don't know if she is going to meet the physical requirements of completing her rotations, because they require long hours on your feet."
On December 4, a Cook County Court awarded $21.5 million to the family of a 6-year-old boy who drowned in a Bridgeview Park District pool and lost his life in 2014.
Michal Duda was one of the kids who participated in the Justice Park summer camp program on June 17, 2014, and later taken to the Bridgeview pool. He was found to be unresponsive at the main pool in Commissioners Park and was declared dead at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. The lawsuit alleged that the group of children was improperly supervised by Justice Park District counselors. Bradley M. Cosgrove, who represented the family in the wrongful death lawsuit filed against both park districts, told Duda failed the swimming test conducted a week before by the Justice Park District before going to the Bridgeview Pool. The attorney asserted the boy instead of being in the wading pool was in the deep main pool without any flotation device and was found 10 feet away from the pool edge. According to a video circulated during the trial, the counselors who were in charge of monitoring the group of children were seen inside the pool's locker room. Jurors at the Cook County Court held Justice Park District 80 percent liable for the incident and the Bridgeview district 20 percent at fault.
Kori Grasha, a Clarence High School Teacher, won nearly $750,000 in a lawsuit filed against the Town of Amherst after a three-vehicle crash in 2011 left her with severe injuries, recurring headaches and shoulder injuries for which she underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery.
On the morning of January 31, 2011, Grasha was waiting on Wehrle Drive behind a vehicle to turn left when a town pickup truck hit her car from behind. The pickup driver told he tried to apply brakes before the collision but slid on ice. A few minutes later, another vehicle hit the town pickup vehicle from behind. Her lawsuit filed in State Supreme Court stated she suffered from nausea, injuries to both the shoulders and painful headaches after the crash. George W. Collins Jr., who represented the town in the lawsuit asserted that a doctor testified that the crash was unlikely to cause Grasha headaches and that her shoulder injury was degenerative and not fatal in nature. Collins said the verdict was too high and was not supported by the evidence provided. A third driver involved in the accident reached for an undisclosed settlement with Grasha even before the trial began. The jury held the town employee 70% responsible for Grasha'a injuries and the other driver 30% responsible. The jury announced $748,663 to be paid by the town to the injured Cheektowaga resident.