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January 9, 2020

Attorney James Devine Wins Defense Verdict

Jim Devine

Jim Devine

Attorney James Devine recently obtained a favorable defense verdict in McHenry County in a premises liability case where the plaintiff asked the jury for an award of $534,387.04.

About the Case

The plaintiff was injured when a stair collapsed in a barn the plaintiff was renting from Mr. Devine’s client. The plaintiff broke his left arm, required two surgeries, incurred medical bills of about $90,000 and was off work for several months. The plaintiff alleged that the stair was water damaged as a result of a leaky roof and that Mr. Devine’s client was aware of the leaks for almost 2 years. Therefore, the plaintiff alleged that Mr. Devine’s client was legally responsible for his injury.

Mr. Devine argued that while his client was aware of the leaky roof, his client was unaware that any of the water penetrating the barn was damaging the stairs. Since both the plaintiff and Mr. Devine’s client used the stairs on many occasions before the accident, neither had any knowledge that the stair was rotting.

The Jury Verdict

After four days of trial, the jury deliberated for about one hour, determined that Mr. Devine’s client was not negligent and returned a verdict in his favor, awarding no money to the plaintiff.

James Devine can be contacted at jdevine@wilmac.com or 815-987-8909.