On Sept. 10, 2007, Paul Ermel was driving a semi-tractor northbound on Route 47 in Sugar Grove, Ill., when the defendant, Zachary McVeigh, who was approaching in his car from the southbound, attempted a left turn. He was trying to turn on at Waubansee Drive, which is the entry for the Waubonsee Community College. McVeigh misjudged Ermel’s truck, thinking it was stuck and stopped as part of the construction work that was going on at the area. McVeigh turned his vehicle into the front driver’s side of Ermel’s semi-truck.
Ermel, 38, alleged that the impact of the crash caused him to sustain bulging discs or aggravation of pre-existing degenerative conditions in his cervical and thoracic spine, damage to neck ligaments, cervical instability and a cervical fistula. He required two cervical fusion surgeries. The first was at the level C6-7, and the second was at the level C4-6. His alleged medical expenses were $326,136. He also lost 10 weeks of work as a Teamsters union truck driver.
The defendant McVeigh admitted negligence but contested the nature and extent of Ermel’s injuries. The defendant contended that Ermel suffered only soft tissue strains, which resolved within 4 months. It was also argued that there was a 9-month treatment gap before Ermel sought further medical care, that he continued working full time and raced a stock car during this 9-month period and that there were no recorded complaints of neurological symptoms in his medical records until 1½ years after the accident.
The jury entered its verdict for Ermel in the amount of $66,890. The lawyer for Ermel was Marios N. Karayannis. The demand to settle the case before trial was $1.1 million. The only reported offer to settle made by McVeigh was $35,000. The jury was asked to return a verdict in the range of $768,972 to $1,068,972 at closing argument.
Paul J. Ermel v. Zachary J. McVeigh, No. 08 L 644 (Kane County, Ill.).
Kreisman Law Offices has been handling automobile and truck accident cases, car accident cases, bicycle accident cases and motorcycle accidents 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 Naperville, Rosemont, Orland Park, Highwood, Inverness, Crete, Steger, Evanston, Chicago (Wicker Park, Rogers Park, Logan Square, East Side, Chinatown, Little Italy, West Loop), River Grove and Des Plaines, Ill.
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