$62,000 Cook County Jury Verdict for Injured Driver at Shopping Center Intersection

On Feb. 20, 2010, 73-year-old Bonnie Elzinga was driving eastbound on 159th Street in Markham, Ill. She was passing by the Canterbury Shopping Center at Kedzie Avenue and 159th Street. At that moment, the defendant, Bose Ijoala, drove his car northbound from the shopping center and was about to make a left turn onto 159th Street when he struck the passenger side of Elzinga’s car.

Elzinga was retired at the time. She suffered soft tissue injuries in aggravation of arthritis in her back, knees and right shoulder. She also suffered soft tissue injuries to her head, ribs and chest.

Her medical treatment included two months of physical therapy, one month of chiropractic care and pain medication. She maintained that she had been an active senior citizen prior to this crash, but her injuries had a significant effect on her lifestyle.

The defendant Ijoala denied negligence contending that he, a 40-year-old hairdresser, looked both ways before pulling out of the shopping center driveway. The defendant maintained that not only was the roadway clear, but that the plaintiff, Elzinga, was speeding because she was late for her granddaughter’s soccer game.

The defendant also disputed the extent of Elzinga’s claimed injuries arguing that she had a long history of muscle and skeletal complaints and pre-existing arthritic problems in her knee, shoulder and back that dated to the 1990s. Furthermore, the defendant maintained that Elzinga had treated with a chiropractor regularly for back/neck and knee pain for ten years before the collision and had undergone physical therapy two months before the crash.

The defendant also argued that Elzinga’s pain complaints after the incident were rated at the same level as before the impact. Ijoala hired an expert that gave testimony that Elzinga suffered only minor bruises and soft tissue injuries, which would have healed within a couple of months while any continuing complaints were due to her pre-existing arthritis and not connected to this crash.

However, the jury found the defendant Bose Ijoala responsible for Elzinga’s injuries and assessed damages of $62,444 made up of the following:

• $22,244 for medical expenses;
• $31,500 for pain and suffering;
• $9,000 for loss of normal life.

Before the start of the trial, counsel for Bonnie Elzinga, attorney Michael C. Mead, made a demand to settle the case for $75,000. The defendant offered $30,000 to settle this case before the start of the jury trial.

Bonnie J. Elzinga v. Bose Ijoala, Case No. 11 L 4569 (Cook County, Ill.).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling automobile accidents cases, car crash cases, intersection crashes, truck accidents, bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents and nursing home negligent 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 Mundelein, Mount Prospect, Bolingbrook, Carpentersville, Tinley Park, Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg, Schiller Park, Chicago (Edgebrook, Lincoln Square, Lincoln Park, West Town, Rogers Park, Beverly, Roscoe Village, Little Italy), Niles, Skokie and St. Charles, Ill.

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