$10.5 Million Dollar Settlement Reached In Wrongful Death Of Chicago Circuit Court Judge

May 20, 2002 / 7:16 am

CORAL GABLES, FL (May 20, 2002) — The law firm of Colson Hicks Eidson today announced that a multi-million dollar settlement has been reached in the wrongful death case of prominent Illinois Circuit Court Judge Joan Marie Corboy, who died after being crushed by a sliding metal gate at the Le Parc Condominiums in Naples, Florida while vacationing with her family in 1999. The case was settled for $10.5 million, which is believed to be the largest wrongful death settlement in the history of Collier County, where Naples is located. Attorneys for the Corboy family were Joseph Kalbac, Dean Colson, Mike Eidson and Marc Cooper of Colson Hicks Eidson, P.A.

The supervising judge for the Criminal Division of the 2nd Municipal District in Skokie, Illinois, Corboy died on January 6, at Naples Community Hospital. She had been in Naples since Christmas Eve with her husband, James R. Epstein, a trial judge in Chicago and her two children, Matthew and Nora.

Corboy was crushed by the metal security gate at the entrance of a parking garage at Le Parc, after returning alone from a bicycle ride. Her father Philip Corboy, a nationally-known personal injury attorney with Corboy of Corboy & Demetrio, P.C. in Chicago, owned a unit at Le Parc.

“The metal gate was a trap. It’s safety devices had been removed and it was not properly maintained by Le Parc,” said Mike Eidson, partner, Colson Hicks Eidson. “Judge Corboy was caught in the gate when it malfunctioned and crushed her. The Corboy family suffered a devastating loss due to the negligence of Le Parc Condominium and are finally being compensated for that loss.”

Corboy, who grew up in Skokie, was 46 at the time of her death. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in English from Boston College in 1974 and graduated from Northwestern University School of law in 1977. Corboy was appointed to the bench in August 1991 and elected in November 1992.

“The senseless death of Joan Marie Corboy, an outstanding judge and mother, could have been avoided,” said Dean Colson, partner, Colson Hicks Eidson. “By failing to properly maintain the metal gate, Le Parc Condominium caused two children to lose their mother, a husband to lose his wife and the judicial community to lose a judge whose understanding of the law made her a visionary.”

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