Catastrophic Lunch-Break Accident Means Defendants Not Liable

September 20, 2018

Patton & Ryan trial lawyers obtained a unanimous defense verdict on behalf of both the Allstate Corporation and Kelly Services in a high-risk, two-week jury trial in Cook County in May of 2018.

Plaintiff presented as an extremely sympathetic young man in his early 20s, with a promising life ahead of him before it was cut short in a motorcycle versus auto accident that rendered him paralyzed from the waist down. The driver of the automobile was an employee of Kelly Services, working at the Allstate corporate campus.

Due to the accident, Plaintiff was incontinent to bladder and bowel function. Plaintiff was present before the jury every day in the courtroom in his wheelchair, along with his large family. Although the motion judge previously refused to put sympathy aside and grant our motion for summary judgment, we were able to minimize the highly emotional and sympathetic impact of the case by focusing the jury on the applicable law, demanding that the jury set aside their feelings and follow the instructions of the court.

This case had the potential to cause a tectonic shift in scope of employment and agency law across the coun­try, touching virtually all industries with employees or temporary workers. Plaintiff asked the jury for more than $52 million. Through the skillful advocacy of the attorneys at Patton & Ryan, the jury set aside Plaintiff’s appeals of sympathy and returned a 12-0 unanimous verdict for our clients.