O'Hare Airport

Dancer Paralyzed in O'Hare Shelter Collapse Settles for $115M

Attorneys for a woman partially paralyzed by a collapsed bus shelter at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport say she will receive a $115 million settlement from the city and its insurer.

Jurors in August found the city liable for injuries to 26-year-old Tierney Darden and awarded her $148 million. Darden's lawyers announced Tuesday that they settled for $115 million after the city argued in court that the verdict was "excessive."

"These have been difficult times for me, my family and I have finally been given hope," said Tierney Darden."Needless to say, we are very, very grateful that the jury recognized the severity of her injury and the long road that she has ahead of her her," Darden's attorney, Patrick Salvi, said after the verdict was announced. 

The payout is said to be covered by the city's insurance and not taxpayers.

With her attorneys at her side, Darden told jurors in August 2017 what it was like when a 760-pound bus shelter came loose from its mounting at O'Hare airport and fell on her in 2015. Darden's lawyers say her spinal cord was severed and she was left paralyzed from the waist down after the August 2015 incident.

"My face hit the ground and then there was a crack and everything went white. At that point, I knew I was paralyzed," she said fighting back tears."My mom kept telling me to get up, and I couldn't."

 Darden's attorney Patrick Salvi said Tuesday that the money will help her "obtain all the necessary medical care for the remaining decades of her life."

"I know it's a substantial verdict but if you had sat in the courtroom and listened day by day to everything she has gone through and everything that she has facing her in the future, you would realize that the verdict was fair and reasonable," Salvi said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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