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$7 Million Record-Setting Settlement for Senior Injured by Target Store Door

10.2009

October 2009

Department store owner and operator, Target Corporation (Target), as well as a prominent mechanical door manufacturer, have agreed to pay $7 million to an 81 year-old woman injured when an automatic door at the Target store in Rosemont, Illinois, malfunctioned and knocked her to the ground. It is a record settlement in Cook County, Illinois, for brain injuries to a woman 60 years old or older. Attorneys Philip Harnett Corboy, Jr., and Kenneth T. Lumb of the Corboy & Demetrio law firm represented the injured woman.  The settlement order was signed by Cook County Circuit Court Judge Deborah Mary Dooling.

On June 21, 2007, a customer was entering the Target store located at 7000 Mannheim Road in Rosemont. As she walked through the entrance, the door malfunctioned and closed before she successfully maneuvered through the entry. The customer, a slight woman, was knocked over and hit her head when she fell to the ground. Her head was hit a second time by the door when it continued to open and close.

She was taken to Lutheran General Hospital and eventually diagnosed with a subdural hematoma. The bleed “blossomed” to the extent that she needed a craniotomy and evacuation of the hematoma.  As a result, she has suffered brain damage that has left her with some cognitive deficits.  She has lived in a nursing home since the incident because of the injuries she sustained.

Prior to being injured, she was retired and living on a fixed income with her 59 year-old daughter, who was semi-dependent upon her for care.

Corboy & Lumb contended that Target, the owner and operator of the mechanical doors, failed to inspect and properly maintain the doors at the store, while also failing to properly follow the safety guidelines provided by the door manufacturer, co-defendant, Besam USA, Inc., (Besam). They also maintained that Besam, the company that designed and manufactured the door and its component parts, failed to design and manufacture a system that would prevent purchasers – like Target – from turning off its failsafe system. Besam also failed to provide external noise and sound alerts when the system malfunctioned, much like it malfunctioned in this situation.

Corboy stated:

This senior citizen was a lovely, spunky woman who had advanced into her senior years with grace and a dedication to her two children, especially to her 59 year-old daughter who lived with her for a number of years due to her special needs. As a result of what happened two years ago, she has been robbed of that ability to take care of her oldest daughter, as well as to enjoy the remaining years of her life the way she had planned.  The three ladies are a portrait of a family that will circle the wagons and provide love, care and attention to each other despite this life-changing event.  I have all of the faith in the world that this settlement will allow her to live out the rest of her life with dignity at the home she’s lived in for over 50 years.

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Corboy & Demetrio
33 N. Dearborn Street
21st Floor
Chicago, IL 60602