$13,000 Cook County Jury Verdict for Pedestrian Hit by Backing Car in Chicago’s West Loop

On March 13, 2011, Maria Ruth Garcia was walking northbound across Adams Street midblock near Des Plaines Street in Chicago when she was struck by the defendant’s backing car, which was allegedly going 40-50 mph in reverse. The defendant was Maureen O’Grady.

Garcia, 56, suffered a bump on her head as well as neck and back strains. She underwent 7 months of chiropractic treatments, which totaled in expenses $27,799.

O’Grady, 46, argued that she was driving westbound on Adams when she stopped at Old St. Patrick’s Church, where she backed up to access a parking lot on the south side of that street. She said she had only backed up a foot or two prior to contact with Garcia.

The defendant’s medical expert, an orthopedic surgeon who often testifies for defendants in similar cases, gave the opinion that the chiropractic treatment for 7 months was unreasonable and unnecessary.

The attorney representing Garcia was Richard M. Craig, who made a demand before trial of $100,000. The offer to settle the case was $50,000. In closing argument, Craig asked the jury to return a verdict of $127,799.

The jury’s verdict of $27,500 was reduced by 50% to $13,753 accounting for what it concluded was the contributory or comparative negligence of Garcia. The jury’s verdict after that reduction was made up of the following damages:

• $5,000 for pain and suffering; and
• $8,753 for medical expenses.

At trial, Garcia’s treating internist testified.

Maria Ruth Garcia v. Maureen O’Grady, No. 13 L 2439 (Cook County, Ill.).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling automobile accident cases, intersection crashes and truck accident cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 38 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Hinsdale, Elgin, Joliet, Aurora, Clarendon Hills, Wilmette, Mount Prospect, Rolling Meadows, Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Deerfield, Northfield, Northbrook, Glenview, Northlake, Brookfield, Maywood and Melrose Park, Ill.

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