The City of Chicago has agreed to pay $22.5 million to settle a lawsuit filed by a mentally-ill woman – one of the largest settlements to a single plaintiff in Chicago history. The plaintiff, Christina Eilman, had been arrested, held overnight, and subsequently released in a high-crime neighborhood, where she was kidnapped and sexually assaulted before falling from a seventh-floor window of a CHA high-rise.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, as a result of the fall, Eilman suffered a devastating brain injury and several broken bones, including a shattered pelvis. She requires around-the-clock medical care and lives with her parents in California.
City officials initially denied liability, stating that Eilman appeared to be coherent at the time of her release, but subsequent information included evidence to the contrary. The testimony of several police officers in sworn depositions indicated that there were visible signs of the plaintiff’s metal illness and that a supervisor had ordered officers to take the plaintiff to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation, but that there was no vehicle available to do so. Additional information revealed that the police ignored frantic telephone calls from Eilman’s parents and released the plaintiff – who was 21 years old at the time – in a high-crime area without assistance.
Like most personal injury lawsuits, the plaintiff’s lawsuit centered on the Chicago police department’s alleged negligence. In fact a federal appeals court cited the “cavalier disregard that Chicago Police officers exhibited for Eilman’s safety before her release.”
In order to be successful in a personal injury lawsuit based on negligence, a plaintiff must prove that :
- the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care,
- the defendant failed to uphold that duty,
- the plaintiff suffered injuries or a damages as a result of the defendant’s misconduct, and
- the defendant’s misconduct was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries or damages.
If you believe that you have been the victim of negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other damages. It is highly recommended that you seek the advice and counsel of a skilled personal injury attorney. The Chicago personal injury lawyers at Ankin Law Offices, LLC focus on representing the victims of personal injury accidents and other torts, such as auto accidents, medical malpractice, product liability, slip and fall accidents, unsafe pharmaceuticals, and toxic tort litigation.
As a Chicago law firm dedicated to personal injury lawsuits, we have the capacity and resources to provide the optimal legal representation. If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident, contact one of our skilled Chicago personal injury attorneys to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and remedies.