On Nov. 13, 2012, Kevin York was riding his bicycle near the exit of Busse Wood Forest Preserve in the northwest suburbs of Cook County, Ill., when he was struck by a motor vehicle driven by defendant Kenneth Heffern. Heffern, a 76-year-old retiree, left the scene after the incident.
York, who was 50 at the time, suffered a torn rotator cuff, which required two surgeries. His medical expenses alone were $160,000. Heffern’s wife, Gloria, owned the motor vehicle that hit York and was sued for negligent entrustment. Negligent entrustment of a motor vehicle is a recognized cause of action in the state of Illinois. In this case, since Mrs. Heffern loaned her car to her husband, Mr. Heffern, who she knew or should have known was an unsafe driver, she was claimed to have been negligent as well. Default judgments were entered against both of the Hefferns by the presiding judge. Plaintiff’s counsel, Justin Weinrich, initiated collection proceedings against the Hefferns, including liens on their property, as well as a wage garnishment against the wife. At a bench trial, the judge entered judgment in the amount of $514,507.
Kevin York v. Kenneth Heffern, Gloria Heffern, Case No. 12 L 1223 (Cook County, Ill.).