Eilman v. The City of Chicago: Jeff Singer Looks Back 10 Years


May 2016

Chicago, IL:  This month marks the ten year anniversary of Christina Eilman's tragic fall from a Chicago inner-city housing project apartment sparking outrage in the city and catapulting the City of Chicago's 'deliberate indifference' into the spotlight. It was then, just days after Ms. Eilman's fall, that Segal McCambridge founding partner and shareholder, Jeff Singer, was contacted to represent the Eilman family.

"In May 2006, we were asked to meet with Christina Eilman's mother and step-father about possibly being retained to represent their daughter.  We met with Kathy and Rick in a small family conference room in the Intensive Care ward at Stroger Hospital," Mr. Singer reflected. "Christina was in a deep coma at the time, and my colleague and I were told that her chances of survival were still very low. But, in an amazing showing of the power of the human spirit, these two showed so much hope. Our meeting focused on Christina and her life prior to coming to Chicago where her tragedy took place."

Mr. Singer and his team represented the Eilman family during six years of litigation, traveling extensively on 57 business trips and attending nearly 160 depositions.  They spent hundreds of hours in preparation for trial until ultimately, the City of Chicago settled with the Eilman family in a record-setting $22.5 million settlement--the largest police liability settlement paid out by the City of Chicago to a single plaintiff.

Not surprisingly, the Eilman case had lasting effects-both professionally and personally- on the attorneys who worked as proponents for Christina and her family. In looking back on the case, Mr. Singer was steadfast on expressing the privilege he felt in his team being involved with Christina's case. "One thing I learned most clearly from this case--which stands out compared to the hundreds of other cases I have litigated--is the strong commitment of family--how the most seriously injured and challenged amongst us have a better chance of survival and rehabilitation when family members believe in the victim and work hard to bring normalcy to the victim's life. Above all, this case reinforced the notion that love for one's child is the most powerful of all emotions.  Christina didn't have a chance without these two and the loving support of her young sister".

In being retained to represent a family like the Eilman's and achieving the success for the family as they did, both the family and the legal team involved benefited. "They made us better lawyers--and better parents, too," Mr. Singer stated.