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Commercial Litigation

Schury v. Defendant Housing Authority

Circuit Court, Cook County, Illinois12/01/2003

Client:

Defendant Housing Authority

Outcome:

Defense Verdict (Bench Trial)

Synopsis:
Plaintiff was working inside a high voltage vault on the defendant housing authority's property. Plaintiff claimed that a rat inside the vault caused an arc flashover that resulted in an electrical explosion that burned Schury over 60% of his body. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant was responsible because of well known rat infestation problem. The defense contended that the defendant had neither access to nor control of the vault and could not have prevented rats from entering. The defense also argued that they could not have prevented rats from coming onto its property from other nearby building and that it was unreasonable to impose such a duty. The plaintiff asked for damages of $3 million. In a bench trial, the court found for the defense, ruling that the defendant had no duty to assure safety in equipment provided by plaintiff's employee and that plaintiff failed to prove proximate causation.

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