Jury awards $2M to injured factory worker

On December 6, 2010, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago, an eight member jury returned a verdict of $2,003,002.58 in favor of Rita Thakore, a 54 year old woman from Hoffman Estates, Illinois.  Ms. Thakore was represented by Michael L. Teich and Joshua L. Weisberg of Rapoport Law Offices, P.C., who acted as co-lead counsel at trial.  The verdict was featured in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

On March 1, 2004, Ms. Thakore’s right hand was burned by a heat seal press while she was working at a CIBA Vision contact lens factory in Des Plaines, Illinois.  Ms. Thakore was cleaning the heated upper part of the press wearing a heat-resistant glove when it unexpectedly dropped onto her hand.  Her hand remained trapped under the press, which was heated to 450 degrees, for several minutes.  She suffered severe burns which left her with limited use of her right hand.  Ms. Thakore alleged the accident resulted from the defective design of a latch that was intended to hold the upper press in position but failed to function properly on the day of the accident.  Universal Machine Co., who designed and manufactured the press, denied that the press was dangerous or defective.

This is Mr. Teich’s third multi-million dollar federal court verdict in the past twelve months.  In May he and Mr. Weisberg obtained a $2.25 million verdict in the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois for the family of a 76 year old man killed in a motor vehicle accident, and in December 2009 he, David E. Rapoport and Paul D. Richter obtained a $7.1 million verdict in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky for the family of a 39 year old man killed in the August 27, 2006 crash of Comair Flight 5191 in Lexington, Kentucky.

This is Mr. Weisberg’s third verdict in excess of $1.5 million in the last two years, which in addition to those noted above also includes a $1.55 million verdict in a personal injury case in Adams County, Wisconsin in January of 2009 which he tried along with David E. Rapoport, and which was the highest verdict ever recorded in a personal injury case in Adams County.

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