Indianapolis Man Awarded $21.3 Million After Garage Door Accident

Updated 11/23/20

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After several years seeking a settlement, an Indianapolis man who was paralyzed after being crushed by a malfunctioning garage door has concluded his court battle.

The Marion Circuit Court jury awarded damages of $21.3 million — among the fifth highest ever issued to an injured individual in Indiana, according the plaintiff’s attorney Lee Christie — to Ralph Parker.

Parker, along with his wife Cheryl, sued Professional Garage Door Systems, Inc., of Plainfield, IN, after the accident, which took place on April 6, 2006.

Parker was working on an electrical wiring project in a garage in the 6900 block of W. Washington St. when the garage door activated and trapped him between the roof and the door. After the motor failed, the door dropped Parker 14 feet to the ground.

The accident resulted in permanent, disabling spine injuries for Parker and left him paralyzed from the chest down.

Parker then sued Professional Garage Door Systems, which his lawsuit alleged were the result of the company’s “negligent inspection, service and/or repair of the garage door opener.”

The company had sold, installed, inspected and repaired the door and its opener, and the jury found them to be 70% responsible for Parker’s injuries. As a result, they are ordered to pay 70% of the total $30.5 million award.

Out of that total, Parker was awarded $18.2 million, with another $3.15 to his wife for the loss of her husband’s love, companionship, comfort, affection and physical assistance.

The attorney for Professional Garage Door Systems did not comment on the verdict.