An Illinois county court jury awarded $4.5 million to a woman who sued Wells Fargo after a metal door at the bank’s location in Aurora detached and fell onto her head.
Amy Skinger, 42, had to undergo surgeries on her neck and spine after being struck in the head by the metal door as she walked into the Wells Fargo mortgage retail office in May 2012. The blow knocked her to her knees and exacerbated her cervical spondylosis, a degenerative condition of the neck and spine, her lawsuit claimed. Ms. Skinger had been previously diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, an unrelated disease, in 2009.
“Amy walked through the entryway of the retail mortgage establishment through the only entrance provided by the defendants, and that entrance was completely unsafe; it was not inspected for years and due to the lack of maintenance, this preventable tragedy forever changed her life,” her lawyer said in a statement, according to Chicago’s ABC 7 Eyewitness News.
The injuries required her to undergo posterior and anterior cervical fusion in her neck, and an intrathecal (placed in spinal cord) pain pump, ABC 7 reported.
The DuPage County Court jury’s verdict included $1.25 million for the injury; the same amount for pain and suffering; $1 million for emotional distress; and more than half a million dollars for medical expenses.
The jury found Wells Fargo to be 80 percent at fault for the accident because it was responsible for building maintenance in a lease it had with the property owner, Cannella NY Square LLC, which was found to be 20 percent at fault.
The jury award is the largest-ever in DuPage County for a single plaintiff in a non-medical malpractice case, according to ABC 7.
A representative for Wells Fargo said it is “disappointed” in the jury’s decision and is “reviewing all of our legal options.”