$65,000 Cook County Jury Verdict for Bike Rider Doored by Parked City Worker

Gabriel Pablo was riding his bicycle westbound on 26th Street and traveling in the designated bike lane near St. Louis Avenue when a city of Chicago employee, Harry Sanders, opened the door of his parked car into the bike lane. Pablo and his bike collided with the opened door. This incident took place on July 24, 2013.

Pablo, 38, was transported by ambulance to Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago with injuries to his head, back, left arm and left shoulder. He was diagnosed with partial tears of the labrum and rotator cuff in his shoulder, eventually requiring arthroscopic repair surgery, which left four surgical scars. Pablo argued that he still suffers ongoing pain and limitations in his left shoulder and back.

He produced $112,287 in medical expenses. Sanders was ticketed and pled guilty to failure to yield. The court records indicate that Sanders was dismissed from the case shortly before the start of this jury trial.

The defense for the city of Chicago contended that Pablo’s conduct was the proximate cause of the impact because the car door had been fully opened before Pablo reached the scene. It was also maintained that Pablo was not paying attention or looking where he was going and that he rode into the already opened car door.

The city also disputed the nature and extent of Pablo’s injuries and medical expenses. At the close of the city’s case, the presiding trial judge denied Pablo’s motion for directed negligence but granted his motion to strike the city’s affirmative defenses.

The jury reportedly deliberated for approximately 3 hours. Pablo’s attorney, Eric H. Check, noted that the last offer before trial was $100,000. During jury deliberations, the city of Chicago made an additional offer of $150,000 to resolve the case. Pablo’s attorney filed a post-trial motion for a new trial based on an inconsistent verdict.

The jury’s verdict of $65,000 was made up of the following damages:

  • $30,000 for medical expenses;
  • $30,000 for pain and suffering;
  • $5,000 for loss of normal life; and
  • $0 for disfigurement.

Before trial, Check, on behalf of Pablo, made a demand to settle the case for $200,000. The jury was asked to return a verdict of $397,287 to $532,287.

The only experts to testify at trial for either party were orthopedic surgeons.

Gabriel Pablo v. City of Chicago, 14 L 7274 (Cook County, Ill.).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling automobile accident cases, bicycle accident cases, truck accident cases and motorcycle 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 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Homewood, Palos Heights, Hickory Hills, LaGrange, Berkeley, Elmwood Park, River Grove, Schiller Park, Schaumburg, Wood Dale, Rolling Meadows, Arlington Heights, Palatine, Buffalo Grove, Vernon Hills, Deerfield, Chicago (Marquette Park, Englewood, Woodlawn, Washington Park, Oakland, Chinatown, Kenwood, Near South Loop, Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, Roscoe Village, Lake Calumet, Pullman), Calumet Park and Blue Island, Ill.

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