One Million Plus Verdict Awarded to Former Nurse Injured in Fall
Former nurse was represented by Jeffrey S. Wrage, Esquire, of Blachly, Tabor, Bozik & Hartman, LLC. After a four day trial, on January 14, 2016, a Porter County jury returned a $1 Million plus verdict in favor of a 57 year old former nurse who fell at a Pilot Travel Center in Burns Harbor on February 2, 2005. In the fall, the former nurse was returning home to Illinois after helping her brother move from a home in Michigan City. While on the way home, the group stopped to buy gas at the Pilot Travel Center in Burns Harbor, Indiana. After filling up her truck, the former nurse was speaking with her late father when her husband and brother came out of the Pilot Travel Center. When her husband spoke to her, the former nurse turned to her right to engage in conversation and took a step into an uncovered drainage grate. As a result of the fall, it was later determined she suffered a fractured ankle which required surgery in July 2006. Following the surgery, she developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), a well-known pain syndrome dating back to the Civil War which affects approximately 1.5 million Americans by some estimates.Plaintiff lives in chronic pain and is unable to work as a nurse. Plaintiff claimed the uncovered trench was approximately 6 feet in length by 3-4” wide and 3-4” deep and had been uncovered for weeks. Defendant Pilot denied Plaintiff’s claim and liability was hotly contested. Defendant also hired a doctor to dispute Plaintiff’s claims she suffered from CRPS. Defendant Pilot claimed the trench was only broken and it did not know that any portion of the trench was missing prior to Plaintiff’s fall. Defendant Pilot also blamed the Plaintiff because she did not look down when she took the step.The jury found Defendant Pilot 90% responsible and the former nurse 10% responsible.