A jury awarded a record $9 million verdict to a Lake in the Hills man who was injured in a bicycle accident that his attorneys say was caused by ComEd damaging a bike path.
The jury reached the verdict Wednesday in McHenry County Circuit Court, ordering Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) to pay $9.05 million to Andrew Farley.
Chicago-based law firm Romanucci and Blandin said the verdict is a record-high for McHenry County.
Farley, a Lake in the Hills resident, claimed in a lawsuit that ComEd had damaged a bike path that he was riding his bicycle on in November 2016.
ComEd field personnel had parked their utility trucks on the bike path near Miller Road and Lakewood Road in Lake in the Hills.
Crews were performing a pole swap-out project where they lifted the utility poles into place and inadvertently demolished the path beneath them, Farley’s attorneys said.
Farley hit the damaged asphalt while riding on the bicycle and was ejected over the handlebars of his bicycle.
He hit his head and suffered a mild traumatic brain injury. Farley was hospitalized for five days and has undergone “years of psychological treatment since the injury,” his attorneys said.
Farley claimed in the lawsuit that the brain injury aggravated prior cognitive, social and emotional deficits caused by his pre-existing conditions of Chron’s disease, hypertension, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
“We are very proud to have obtained this verdict for the Farley family after the debilitating emotional distress this man experienced after this bike crash,” attorney Bruno Marasso said.
Marasso said ComEd had the duty to leave the bike path in a safe condition for the public.
“Because of ComEd’s negligent actions, Mr. Farley will never have the same cognitive, emotional, and social abilities as he did before this incident, and we are honored that twelve jurors recognized ComEd’s improper actions and provided justice to Andrew and his wife,” Marasso said.
Attorney Michael Grieco said the incident never had to happen because it was “completely preventable.”