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Factory Accident Settlements: How to Value Injury Cases

Accidents In A Factory Personal Injury LawAs a major manufacturing and shipping hub, accidents are a common occurrence at some Chicago factories. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is committed to protecting the legal rights of injured workers to ensure they receive the maximum compensation that the law allows.

Below we have compiled some cases involving factory accident cases to give you an idea as to how juries and insurance carriers evaluate these type of cases in the Chicagoland area. It should go without saying, but each case is unique and deserves to be evaluated on its own merits and to make direct comparisons between your situation and the cases below is difficult. 

Should you or a family member have a question regarding an accident at a factory or other industrial setting, we invite you to contact our office for a free review of your case with an experienced attorney who will address any questions or concerns you have.

Amount: $3,353,359 JURY AWARD
County: COOK
Year: 2006
Injury: Hand/fingers

This accident involved a factory worker in his late teens. He was working with an industrial roller when his hand got stuck in the tool. It pretty quickly crushed all of the fingers and bones in the affected hand and left him with scarring, nerve damage, and permanent disability. He even needed surgery to fix the injury.

Eventually, he sued the manufacturer of the product he was using at the Illinois factory for negligence. His lawsuit contained allegations including that the item was negligently designed, did not have an emergency stop, and did not come sufficient instructions for proper use. As a result of these failures, he claimed the defendant manufacturer caused his injuries.

The latter denied these charges and replied that the plaintiff took off the necessary safety portions of the roller and did not use the roller as intended. The jury found for the young worker and against the large company. They gave him $3,353,359 for the following damages:

  • Medical:
  • Pain and Suffering:
  • Non-economic:
  • Total:
  • $103,359
  • $1,250,000
  • $2,000,000
  • $3,353,359

Amount: $397,000 JURY AWARD
County: COOK
Year: 2005

This incident occurred at a steel factory in Chicago. A security guard was on the premises when he slipped and fell on a staircase causing various personal injuries. He sued the steel company for negligence.

His complaint alleged that the defendant inadequately maintained the premises and should have provided the area with lights and safety items to protect its workers and invitees. The defendant turned around and said that the plaintiff assumed the risk of injury when he proceeded knowing there was no lights.

The jury reached a verdict for the plaintiff and gave him $397,000. However, they also gave the Illinois factory worker 25% of the blame for the accident so that was lowered to $297,750. Here were the original damages amounts:

  • Medical:
  • Disability:
  • Pain and Suffering:
  • Lost Wages:
  • Total:
  • $46,000
  • $100,000
  • $119,000
  • $132,000
  • $397,000 (reduced to $297,750)

Amount: $65,000 SETTLEMENT
County: KANE
Year: 2005
Injury: Death

The Illinois worker in this dispute was crushed and killed by a fan at the factory in which he worked. The fan fell from the ceiling and hit him. He was survived by a wife and child.

They brought a wrongful death action against the company whom he worked for. The suit stated that it did not afford the decedent with a safe working environment, did not check to see if the fans were nailed to the ceiling properly, and did not instruct its employees about this danger.

The company did not want to admit to any responsibility for this death but they also did not want to go to trial. They convinced the plaintiffs to settle for $65,000.

Amount: $635,956 JURY AWARD
County: COOK
Year: 2004

This story involved a slip and fall accident at an Illinois factory. A service worker in his late forties was going about his day when he slipped on a puddle of grease. He sustained a rotator cuff injury as well as shoulder bursitis and a bone spur.

He sued his employer and contended that it should have better cleaned the work site and warned its employees about the risks involved in working there. The defendant company said that the plaintiff assumed the risk of injury by not taking another route and not warning the company about the grease puddle.

The two sides could not find compromise so they went to trial. The jury decided that the company’s negligence was to blame for the plaintiff’s injuries and awarded him $635,956:

  • Medical:
  • Lost Wages:
  • Pain and Suffering:
  • Punitive:
  • Total:
  • $57,545
  • $12,400
  • $283,006
  • $283,005
  • $635,956

Amount: $10,935 JURY AWARD
County: COOK
Year: 2002
Injury: Neck strain, cervical strain.

An Illinois factory worker in his mid forties was working right outside the building. A car approached him driving in the wrong direction and actually hit him as he passed.

From the accident, the worker sustained a cervical strain and other various personal injuries. The defendant could not deny that he was responsible but disagreed with the amount of damages that the plaintiff claimed so they went to trial on this issue. The jury fixed the appropriate amount at $10,935 for the following categories of damages:

  • Medical:
  • Lost Wages:
  • Pain and Suffering:
  • Total:
  • $3743
  • $5192
  • $2000
  • $10,935

Amount: $1,050,000 SETTLEMENT
County: COOK
Year: 1996
Injury: Broken fingers

The victim in this case worked at a hot dog factory in Illinois. Specifically, she worked in the packaging department and oversaw the production that put the hot dogs into their individual packages.

At one point, a hot dog jammed the process and she attempted to dislodge it with her hand. Unfortunately, the machine broke three of her fingers in the process. Also, she sustained mild disfigurement from the injury. She sued the maker of the machine and alleged that the factory accident caused her great medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost income.

The defendant company disagreed and countered that her job was gratuitous in the first place. Failing to compromise, they went to trial and the jury sided with the 35-year-old female factory worker. They awarded her $1,050,000 in damages.

Amount: $1,515,000 JURY AWARD
Year: 1996
Injury: Leg amputation, wrist injury

This accident occurred at a factory in Southern Illinois. A truck driver in his late fifties arrived at a steel plant to make a delivery when a forklift operator ran into him, crushing his leg and wrist.

The former injury eventually required an amputation. He sued the employee that hit him, the company that employee worked for, and the manufacturer of the forklift. By the time trial commenced, only the steel company remained as a defendant. The plaintiff charged it with negligence and claimed that its actions caused his injuries and subsequent damages.

The defendant company denied all charges of wrongdoing and said that the plaintiff and other parties were responsible for the accident. They jury found for the plaintiff truck driver and awarded him $1,515,000 but also 35% of the blame:

  • Medical:
  • Lost Wage:
  • Pain and Suffering:
  • Punitive:
  • Total:
  • $200,000
  • $165,000
  • $600,000
  • $550,000
  • $1,515,000 (reduced to $984,750)

Amount: $2,600,000 JURY AWARD
County: COOK
Year: 1995
Injury: Brain injury

A plumber in his early thirties was working at a steel plant when he fell from a ladder. He later claimed that the ladder was deficient and collapsed underneath him. Due to the accident, he sustained a serious brain injury as well as headaches, depression, and disability. He sued the company he was working at for negligently maintaining its place of business.

The defendant company replied that there was nothing wrong with the ladder and that the plaintiff’s substance abuse contributed to the incident. The jury did not buy this counter claim and gave the plaintiff $2,600,000 in damages as well as 37.5% of the responsibility. Thus, he only netted approximately $1,750,000.

Do You Have Questions About an Incident at a Chicago Factory?

Everyday workers are injured at Chicago factories due to the negligence of employers and other parties. At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC we are committed to maximizing the recovery for each worker and their families.

We have experience litigating factory accident cases and invite you to contact our office for a free case review with an experienced attorney so you may learn more about your legal options for recovery.

For more information on benefits afforded an injured worker via workers compensation, look here.

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