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Monday, December 05, 2011
Public Citizen is an extraordinary group that advocates effectively for public safety and true democracy. Our firm has supported Public Citizen for many years. The organization recently profiled Bruce Pfaff, our founding partner on its site: http://www.citizen.org/Page.aspx?pid=4295.
Bruce Pfaff and Matt Ports were on trial for two weeks in August in Tazewell County (Pekin, IL). They represented a young man, who, when he was 19, suffered the traumatic amputation of his left leg when it was crushed by the gantry of a MiTek RoofGlider (R) machine. The young man was employed in a truss making operation for Central Illinois Truss. The previous high verdict in Tazewell County for any kind of injury case was $970,000.
The jury awarded the exact amount Mr. Pfaff requested in closing argument: $13,544,172.71. It was the fifth time in Mr. Pfaff's career that a jury awarded everything he has requested to the penny. The RoofGlider design sold to Central Illinois Truss was incredibly dangerous and the jury saw that. The safety bar, designed to protect workers in Mr. Stone's position, failed when he contacted it and this allowed the gantry to advance, crushing the worker's leg against a steel plate for 60 minutes. It took paramedics, police and co-workers that long to free his leg from the machine.
Included in the damages were past and future medical expenses, which totaled more than $3,500,000.