$85,000 Verdict for Two Separate Rear-End Crashes 20 Months Apart

James Fregeau was involved in two different and separate motor vehicle crashes.  Both cases were consolidated for discovery and trial.  The first crash took place on April 22, 2009 when a car driven by the defendant, Anthony Foster, rear-ended a vehicle, which then pushed into Fregeau’s car, injuring him.

The second crash took place on Dec. 4, 2010, when the car driven by defendant Dina Whittier rear-ended Fregeau’s car on southbound Interstate 57 near 167th Street in Markham, Ill.   In that case, both cars spun out and a second impact with each other occurred.

Fregeau, 27, claimed that he suffered spinal sprains and an aggravation of facet joint arthropathy,  which required emergency room visits, doctor visits, CT scans, MRIs, bone scans, physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, facet blocks and future facet ablations.

The first crash resulted in $59,833 in medical expenses.  The second crash resulted in medical costs of $40,005.

Plaintiff’s counsel, Scott Norris, suggested that the jury apportion $18,808 in post-second accident expenses, split evenly between the two defendants based on the testimony of Fregeau’s treating physician pain management Dr. Timothy R. Lubenow.

The defendants in both cases admitted liability.  Neither defendant testified at trial.  The presiding trial judge barred reference to defendant Whittier’s DUI and leaving the scene of the accident. The defense for Foster maintained that Fregeau suffered only soft tissue injuries that should have resolved within 12 weeks.  The defense for Whittier argued that plaintiff’s complaints were ongoing at the time of the second crash and there was no evidence that he suffered anything more than soft tissue subjective complaints from this accident.

Both of the defendants had insurance up to $100,000.  The demand to settle was the $200,000 from both defendants.  The offer made by Foster was $21,500.  The offer made by Whittier was $24,500.  Both offers were made before the beginning of the trial.  Mr. Norris asked the jury to return a verdict of $374,000.

The jury’s verdict of $85,946 was split up in the following fashion:

$59,081 versus Anthony Foster:

  • $54,081 for past medical expenses;
  • $5,000 for past pain and suffering;
  • $0 for loss of normal life.

$26,865 versus Dina Whittier:

  • $21,865 for past medical expenses;
  • $5,000 for past pain and suffering.

James R. Fregeau v. Anthony Foster, Dina Whittier, No. 11 L 2704 consol. w/11 L 10096 (Cook County, Ill.).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling automobile accidents cases, truck accidents cases, motorcycle accident cases and bicycle 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 Calumet City, Wheeling, Winfield, Westchester, Morton Grove, Lansing, Lemont, Northbrook, Oak Forest, Glenview, Franklin Park, Rolling Meadows and Worth, Ill.

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