Trial To Begin For Paralyzed Woman’s Negligence Suit After O’Hare Shelter Fell On Her

CHICAGO (CBS) — The lawsuit filed by a 26-year-old woman who was paralyzed when a pedestrian shelter fell on her at O’Hare International Airport was headed to trial Tuesday morning.

Tierney Darden was seeking shelter from a storm at O’Hare in August 2015 when the 750-pound structure meant to protect her collapsed on top of her, severing her spinal cord.

The young dancer was paralyzed from the waist down, and has sued the city for negligence. After her accident, 2 Investigator Dave Savini exposed the shelters at O’Hare had been poorly maintained. The shelter that fell on Darden had rusted brackets and missing bolts.

Other shelters had similar problems. One shelter was missing 22 bolts that are supposed to connect it to the ground and eight more screws in various spots that connect to the structure itself. Also, an entire mounting plate was missing.

The shelters have since been removed from O’Hare.

The city already has admitted fault for the poorly maintained shelters. The trial set to begin Tuesday will determine the damages the city must pay. Opening statements were set to begin at 9 a.m.

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