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Epping v. Commonwealth Edison Co.

315 Ill. App. 3d 1069 (2000)

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Epping v. Commonwealth Edison Co.

Illinois Court of Appeals

315 Ill. App. 3d 1069 (2000)

Facts

Nancy Epping (plaintiff) was injured in a car crash when a vehicle driven by an employee of Commonwealth Edison Company (defendant) ran into a stopped car, forcing it into a head-on collision with Epping’s car. Epping suffered severe injuries to her leg, hip, and pelvis, and a broken wrist. As a result of her injuries, Epping needed at least 32 surgeries. Even after those surgeries, Epping suffered from a condition known as flail leg because part of her tibia bone had to be removed, which meant that her leg could not support any weight and could turn in any direction. Epping lost her ability to drive a car and had difficulty moving around in her wheelchair because her wrist joint had been fixed in place. Epping’s leg and foot were also physically deformed, and her doctors stated that her leg might need to be amputated. Prior to the crash, Epping was a part-time teacher at a community college, the executive director of a museum, and the president of a museum conference. Epping sued Edison, and Edison admitted liability. The case proceeded to trial over the issue of damages. After the trial, the jury awarded Epping $4.5 million in past and future economic damages and $9 million for noneconomic damages including disability, disfigurement, and past and future pain and suffering. Edison appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Wolfson, J.)

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