Bruce Pfaff was retained in March 2012 to take the lead in prosecuting a lawsuit for a worker who received a high voltage electrical shock. On the eve of a two week trial set to begin in Peoria this month, the case settled for $7,500,000. The case had been pending for more than two years and the defendant had offered only $2 million to settle the serious injury claims before Pfaff & Gill filed their appearance in the case. The firm devoted significant resources to the case, hiring three new experts, and taking additional testimony from employees of the defendant which helped to expose its liability. The injured worker was employed by a service company that was hired by a major manufacturing company to perform services in an outdoor area that had high voltage equipment. The worker entered into an unlocked gated area which, unknown to him, was always to remain locked. Electricity arced from a piece of equipment, entered his back and exited his feet. The defendant landowner maintained that the worker never should have entered the gated area because its dangers were readily apparent, even going so far as to hire a human factors psychologist to testify that the worker was contributorily negligent for walking through the gate.
“Our client was fortunate to survive but sustained serious injuries that will affect him throughout his life,” according to Bruce Pfaff, lead counsel. “His survival and good recovery are testaments to his strength of character which we know a jury would have readily appreciated.”
The suit claimed future medical needs expenses of $1 million and substantial damages for pain, suffering, disability and disfigurement. There was no claim for lost earnings.
This settlement comes on the heels of a $13.55 million jury award in Tazewell County that Bruce Pfaff and Matt Ports obtained for an injured worker whose leg was crushed and later amputated. Pfaff & Gill, Ltd. practices throughout Central and Northern Illinois and limits its practice to representing those injured or killed by wrongful conduct.