Full Defense Verdict for Homeowner Accused of Injuring City Worker

Brandon Copeland and Robert Devereux recently obtained a full defense jury verdict in Madison County, Illinois. Their client, a homeowner in Alton, Illinois, was accused of placing heavy materials in her yard waste bag for pick up—items that were so heavy, when a city worker tried to pick up the bag he injured his shoulder and required surgery.

The jury heard from several of the Plaintiff’s treating physicians including a well-known shoulder surgeon who all agreed the injury was caused by the heavier than expected bag. Fellow city employees also testified that residents are told, each season, not to place rocks and dirt in bags, or other things that might make the bags too heavy. Brandon and Bo argued that there simply was no evidence their client had broken these rules or that the bag in question was even our client’s bag. Upon cross-examination, a fellow employee with the Plaintiff at the time testified that he could not remember what street they were on, and others testified the Plaintiff was trained to leave heavy bags for later pickup, as opposed to trying to lift them and risk injury.

At the close of the case, Plaintiff’s counsel requested that the jury award his client $350,000.00 for past medical, pain and suffering, lost wages, and future pain and suffering.  In pre-trial negotiations, the Plaintiff was offered $80,000.00 but refused to budge from his demands. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury returned a unanimous verdict in our client’s favor.