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$148 million awarded to woman paralyzed in shelter collapse

August 24, 2017

CHICAGO (AP) — A jury has awarded $148 million to a woman partially paralyzed by a collapsed bus shelter at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

Tierney Darden of suburban Vernon Hills wept as Judge Clare McWilliams on Wednesday read the jury’s decision in a Cook County courtroom. The trial lasted seven days and the jury deliberated four hours.

Outside the courtroom, Patrick Salvi said the 26-year-old Darden is grateful the jury recognized the severity of her injury and “the long road that she has ahead of her.”

A spokesman says city officials are disappointed by the jury’s verdict and are evaluating legal options.

In August 2015, Darden, then a dance student, was standing with her mother and sister on a lower-level street that accesses O’Hare’s Terminal 2 during a storm. High winds toppled a pedestrian shelter onto Darden.

The woman’s lawyers say her spinal cord was severed, and she was left paralyzed from the waist down.

Update hourly