Ridge & Downes - Law Firm

  • Injured State Trooper Settles Case For $1 Million

    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, impaired elderly drivers are involved in approximately 15% of traffic fatalities.  Impaired drivers can strike pedestrians, bicyclists and other drivers causing serious injury or even death.  If a corporation knowingly allows an impaired driver to operate its vehicles on the open road, and that driver causes injury to a person, then that corporation is responsible for the harm that it has caused.

    This occurred in August of 2009, when an Arlington Heights Company allowed one of its employees to drive a vehicle while he was suffering from cognitive deficits. 

    In May and July of 2009, doctors expressed concern over this employee's ability to safely drive a vehicle.  Despite having knowledge of the medical concerns, the corporation ignored the risks involved and knowingly allowed the employee to drive the company vehicle.  

    Just one month later, on August 26, 2009, that cognitively impaired employee was driving the company car.  He approached an intersection with three Illinois State Police squad cars stopped at a red light.  The driver approached the light too quickly and the company car struck the third Illinois State Police car as it sat at the red light.

    The 26-year-old State Trooper struck in the accident retained Ridge & Downes to represent her. 

    As a result of the collision, the Trooper was diagnosed with a herniated disc in her lumbar spine. She underwent surgery, which resulted in permanent restrictions.  Those restrictions precluded her from fulfilling the physical requirements of an Illinois State Trooper. 

    Despite the fact that the State did find her an alternative administrative job, her salary and pension are much less than she would have received if she were able to continue working as a State Trooper. At 33-years-old she will never be able to move up or be promoted in this job.  

    Ridge & Downes filed proceedings against the driver and the company who owned the vehicle on the basis that they knowingly let him drive despite his cognitive impairments. The case was defended by two law firms, one representing the driver and one representing the vehicle owner.

    The parties agreed to take part in a mediation session to ascertain if a settlement could be reached before the trial.  During the mediation, Ridge & Downes negotiated a settlement of $1 million dollars for this Trooper. This money will not bring back her dream of serving Illinois as a law enforcement officer, but it will help compensate her for the loss of income and pension, as well as her pain and suffering. 

    Because the Trooper was on duty at the time of the accident, she also had a workers’ compensation case versus the State of Illinois, handled by Attorney Amylee Hogan Simonovich. The State agreed to waive its right to be reimbursed for $185,000 it had paid in lost time and medical benefits as part of the resolution of both claims.

  • Repetitive Trauma

    Many workers are not injured by a specific incident, but rather through a course of repetitive trauma to a specific body part. It is often thought that workers must have years of continued repetitive trauma to the same body part to be successful with a workers’ compensation claim; however, this is not always the case.

    Attorney Meghan N. O’Brien successfully argued a case before the Illinois Appellate Court where a worker sustained a repetitive trauma injury to his neck and shoulder after eight days of repetitive overhead movements with welding.

    The case was won before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission and the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the decision that the injured worker’s repetitive work activities caused his neck and shoulder injury and that it arose out of and in the course of his employment.

  • Penalties

    Ridge & Downes recently settled a case wherein the Respondent agreed to pay penalties of over $12,000. The claimant slipped on a box at a factory and fractured her right wrist. She was taken to the Emergency Department, and surgery was performed the following day.

    After repeated attempts to get her medical bills paid, she contacted our office for help. Our office filed a claim against the factory where she was working and the uninsured temporary staffing agency that sent her there. After soundly rejecting their settlement offer of $2,000, we were able to negotiate a settlement with the temporary staffing agency for a substantial loss of use of her hand, payment of medical bills, penalties for the delay in payment of benefits and medical bills, and attorney’s fees for recovering the penalties. This totaled just under $30,000.

    Said one of the attorneys on the other side, “I’ll never forget this file and still can’t believe they paid the penalties voluntarily.”

  • Suburban Firefighter's Workers' Compensation Rights

    Appellate Court upholds judgment in favor of suburban firefighter. Village claimed the injury to claimant's knee was not covered under the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act, claiming that his roughhousing with a co-worker precluded workers’ compensation benefits. The Village was unsuccessful. Our office proved that the claimant did not instigate roughhousing and merely defended himself, thereby bringing his injury under the Act.


  • 17-Year-Old Girl Killed in Car Accident

    Settlement reached on behalf of a 17-year-old girl killed in car accident caused by a drunk driver for just under $1,000,000.00. The driver only had an insurance policy of $250,000.00.

  • Truck Accident, $1.0 Million Settlement

    Settlement of $1.0 million reached on behalf of the estate of a 71-year-old driver whose vehicle was struck by a semi-tractor trailer at an intersection.

Ridge & Downes has successfully represented many injured people – let us help you receive the benefits that you deserve.


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