Top Premises Liability Judgments

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By Travelers
2 minutes
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Protecting the public and considering their safety in and around property you own and manage is essential when establishing a premises liability risk management program. Travelers can help protect your business from large-scale losses, like these that topped the National Law Journal’s Top 100 Verdicts.1

Faulty Pedestrian Shelter

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$148 Million Verdict

A 760-pound fiberglass pedestrian shelter became unhinged by a gust of wind at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and fell to the ground, pinning a 24-year-old woman underneath. She suffered major permanent injuries, including one to her spinal cord that resulted in paralysis.

The City of Chicago was sued for improper maintenance of airport facilities.

Customer Assaulted by a Convenience Store Thief


$81.9 Million Verdict

A man unwittingly entered a Washington state convenience store while a robbery was in progress. The robber, fleeing the store, entered the man’s car, which had been left open in the store’s parking lot. When the man came face-to-face with the robber, he was violently and repeatedly attacked with a baseball bat.  

The victim sought damages for severe skull and brain injuries, alleging that the company that owned the store failed to properly train store personnel in robbery and violence prevention. The victim’s compensatory damages award is the largest for one person in the state’s history.

Lack of Traffic Signage


$44 Million Verdict

A 78-year-old woman was struck by a vehicle while walking to her car in a parking lot. The woman initially sued the driver but later added the business owner to the suit for failing to have proper traffic signage in the parking lot.

The jury found shared responsibility – 75% for the business and 25% for the driver – as well as finding the business grossly negligent.

Faulty Fire Escape

 illustration of arrow pointing to an open door    

$37 Million Verdict

When a 22-year-old student attending an apartment party fell through a gap in a fire escape onto a second-floor roof, she suffered spinal and other injuries. Paralyzed from the waist down, she requires the use of a wheelchair and help from a daily aide.

The apartment building’s owner was sued for negligent maintenance of the property and failure to comply with a 1928 law mandating safe stairway standards.

Ski Slope Collision


$19 Million Verdict

PVC pipes, intended to protect a ski lift’s access area, became the site of an injury for a novice skier. A young girl collided with the pipes and badly injured her leg. Impairment of her leg’s physical development compounded the injury, requiring future surgeries.

The ski area was found negligent for not marking the pipes according to safety requirements.

This material does not imply that coverage exists for any particular claim or loss under any insurance policy or bond issued by Travelers. Coverage depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss, all applicable policy or bond provisions, and any applicable law.

¹ The National Law Journal’s 2016-2021 editions of the Top 100 verdicts in the United States. The verdicts summarized above do not involve Travelers insureds.

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