Appeals Court Caps Insurance Liability in 2003 Porch Collapse
LINCOLN PARK — Nearly 10 years after a 2003 porch collapse killed 13 people and injured dozens more, victims and relatives have lost their appeal to double the amount an insurance company must pay them.
A state appellate court confirmed last week a lower court's earlier ruling limiting First Specialty Insurance Corp.'s liability to $1 million over the fatal collapse in the 700 block of West Wrightwood Avenue on June 23, 2003.
A group of more than 40 victims and representatives of those who died in the collapse had filed an appeal seeking to raise the liability limit to $2 million. The insurance company has already paid the victims the $1 million.
More than 50 people were injured when the wooden porch on the third story of the three-flat collapsed into the second-floor porch, which also collapsed, trapping dozens of victims who had been attending a party.
The group's suit argued the policy's aggregate limit of $2 million should have applied because there was no way of proving a single event caused the injuries and deaths.
The joint group of victims had settled the consolidated cases for $16.6 million, which included $1 million from First Specialty Insurance Corp., the primary insurance carrier, $15 million from the excess insurance carrier and $600,000 from the building owner personally. The appeal sought to raise the limit from First Specialty to $2 million.