Tom Gillette parked his pickup truck in a residential neighborhood in Everett, Wash. He was there doing construction work on a home. As he was unloading sawhorses from the back of his truck, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Deputy John Sadro, who was transporting a witness to court, ran a stop sign while traveling 49 mph in a 25 mph zone. Another motorist, who had the right-of-way, broadsided the police cruiser, causing it to spin around and strike Gillette, pinning him between the police cruiser and the bumper of his truck.
Gillette was 59 years old at the time; he suffered severe crush injuries to both of his legs, which were almost fully traumatically amputated at the scene. He was hospitalized and nearly died from blood loss. Doctors were unable to save either of his legs. His left leg was amputated just below the knee while his right leg was amputated at the knee.
Gillette underwent more than 12 surgeries and spent nearly two months in the hospital. Now he uses a wheelchair and requires some assistance with daily living activities. His past medical expenses totaled more than $425,000 and his future care costs are estimated at more than $1,300,000.
He was unable to return to work and claimed more than $600,000 for impairment of earning capacity and future lost earnings.
Gillette and his wife contended that Sadro was reckless and negligent for driving nearly twice the speed limit in a residential neighborhood and running a stop sign. The Gillettes were prepared to show that Sadro was not engaged in a police pursuit or other emergency at the time and had not activated his lights or siren. They were also prepared to present black-box data recovered from the police cruiser confirming the speed of the Sadro vehicle at the time of the crash.
Before this lawsuit was filed, the parties settled for $14.3 million paid by the county’s insurer. The settlement included payments for home modifications and a specially equipped van for Gillette. The attorney handling this tragic case was Gerald R. Traylor.
Gillette v. Snohomish County
Kreisman Law Offices has been handling catastrophic injury lawsuits, truck accident cases, forklift injury lawsuits, construction site injury lawsuits and work injury 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 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Schiller Park, Evanston, University Park, Lyons, Lansing, Schaumburg, Tinley Park, Elmhurst, Homewood, South Barrington, South Holland, Chicago (Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Lake Calumet, Hegewisch, East Side, Englewood, Kenwood, West Town, Greek Town, Chinatown, Little Italy, Deerfield, Glenview and Northbrook, Ill.
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