Articles Posted in Damages

Jia Huan Xu was crossing the street in a pedestrian crosswalk at a Brooklyn intersection when she was struck by a New York City Transit Authority bus. The bus was turning left from the opposite direction.  She was just 15 years old at the time.

The bus stopped while one of the vehicle’s front tires was on her left thigh. It took fifteen minutes for the bus to be lifted off her. Xu suffered severe degloving injuries necessitating multiple surgeries, including skin graft procedures.

She continues to suffer from physical limitations. She sued the New York City Transit Authority alleging that the bus driver chose not to yield while she was in a pedestrian crosswalk.

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Before the Illinois Supreme Court handed down its decision in Peach v. McGovern, there were differing Illinois Appellate Court cases about whether an expert was needed to testify about a photograph of post-accident vehicle damage before it could be admitted into evidence. The Peach decision held that expert testimony is not required to admit post-accident vehicle photographs and settle this conflict in the law.

In its holding, the Peach decision expressly overturned DiCosola v. Bowman, 342 Ill.App.3d 530, 538 (1st Dist. 2003) and Baraniak v. Kurby, 371 Ill.App.3d 310, 317-18 (1st Dist. 2007) and held that the proper analysis had been appropriate in the cases of Ford v. Grizzle, 398 Ill.App.3d 639, 648 (5th Dist. 2010), Fronabarger v. Burns, 385 Ill.App.3d 560, 565 (5th Dist. 2008), Jackson v. Seib, 372 Ill.App.3d 1061, 1071 (5th Dist. 2007) and Ferro v. Griffiths, 361 Ill.App.3d 738, 743 (3d Dist. 2005).

In the Illinois Supreme Court decision in Peach, the Court ruled that the question of whether the photographs were admissible depended on whether they were relevant, and that relevancy is tested in light of logic, experience, and accepted assumptions about human behavior. Peach, Id. ¶ 26 (citing Boykin v. Estate of DeBoer, 192 Ill.2d 49, 57 (2000)).

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Christopher Novus Davis, 20, was admitted to Chester Mental Health Center in Chester, Ill., which is about 60 miles southeast of St. Louis. Shortly after he arrived, he was allegedly confronted by a group of security aides in the dining room for standing without permission after being seated for breakfast.

Davis was placed in handcuffs and, once off camera, he was pulled to the ground, shoved, punched and kneed in the face, according to the court documents.

Davis filed a lawsuit in 2013 against Lucas Nanny, Tom Nordman, Josh Rackley and Terry Steward. He was represented pro bono by Sidley Austin LLP’s attorneys Daniel A. Spira, Julie Becker and Elizabeth M. Chiarello.

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Andrea Laing, 23, was walking northbound along a sidewalk platform at a Portland, Ore., “Max” light rail station. She crossed the eastbound tracks to board a stopped westbound train and was struck by an out-of-service eastbound train that was entering the station.

Laing suffered facial and rib fractures; internal injuries, including injuries that required the removal of her spleen; a severed left leg and skin injuries. Her medical expenses were $800,000 and she missed approximately five months from her job as a retail worker earning $12 per hour.

Laing sued TriMet, the rail system’s operator, and Gabe Sutherland, the train operator of the eastbound train. It was alleged that Sutherland had chosen not to sound a four-second audible warning as the train approached the platform. It was also maintained that Sutherland elected not to apply principles of defensive driving in the operation of the train.

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Sherri Miyagi, a dentist, was visiting a Walgreens pharmacy when she was injured by a hand truck operated by an employee of the defendant, Dean Transportation Inc. Dr. Miyagi filed a complaint, alleging negligence and respondeat superior against the defendant, Dean. Before the start of the jury trial, Dean admitted its negligence and a trial was held on the issues of causation and damages to the four elements of negligence.

Following the trial, the jury signed a verdict in favor of Dr. Miyagi for $2.4 million in noneconomic damages, $300,000 for past medical expenses, and $7.3 million for future medical expenses.

The defendant, Dean, filed a post-trial motion, seeking judgment notwithstanding the verdict, a new trial on all issues, a new trial on damages only, or in the alternative, a remittitur of all but $5,703.68 of the future medical expenses awarded by the jury. The trial court denied defendant’s request for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict and for a new trial. The trial court did, however, grant defendant’s request for a remittitur, but in the amount of $3.65 million, which represented 50% of the jury award for future medical expenses.

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Hussein Agiz was driving his motorcycle through a commercial warehousing complex owned by Heller Industrial Parks when a vehicle driven by Jonathan Bonilla struck Agiz. He was 18 years old.

Bonilla was drag racing at the time of the crash. Agiz sustained severe injuries, which included a brain contusion and amputation of his right arm and leg. He required eleven surgeries.

Agiz sued Bonilla and Heller Industrial Parks. Agiz claimed that drag racing occurred regularly within the complex as evidenced by multiple police reports over several years before the crash.

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A 24-year-old pastry chef, Emily Fredericks, rode her bicycle from her apartment to her job at a restaurant in Philadelphia in November 2017.  As she approached an intersection, a garbage truck driven alongside her by Jorge Fretts, an employee of the waste disposal company Gold Medal Environmental, prepared to make a right turn across her path.

About 40 feet from the intersection, Fretts had passed a road sign telling drivers to “Yield to Bikes.”

Fretts chose not to yield or even check his surroundings and made the turn without using his turn signal. The truck struck Emily’s bike, knocked her to the ground and ran over her, crushing her chest. She died from her injuries.

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Plaintiff Frank Russo filed a lawsuit against the defendant, Corey Steel Co., to recover damages for injuries he suffered when a crane struck a lift in which Russo was working at the defendant’s plant. Corey Steel admitted liability, and the matter proceeded to a trial before a jury to deliberate solely on the issue of damages.

Following the trial, the jury signed a verdict in favor of Russo for a total amount of $9.9 million in damages. Corey Steel retained additional counsel, and as a result, the trial judge who presided over the trial recused himself of the post-trial proceedings.

Corey Steel filed a post-trial motion for a new trial on several grounds. The post-trial judge granted defendant’s motion for a new trial based solely on defendant’s argument that the trial judge erroneously allowed one of plaintiff’s experts to offer an opinion on plaintiff’s need for one future surgery. The trial judge had allowed the plaintiff’s expert’s testimony to stand. The post-trial judge denied defendant’s post-trial motion on the other grounds raised in the motion.

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Anthony Taylor, 27, was a passenger in the back seat of a car. The car was stopped at a stop sign and then its driver proceeded through the intersection. Samantha Schillings’ car went through the other stop sign, causing a T-bone collision with the vehicle in which Taylor was sitting.

Taylor suffered a fractured spine at C5-6, which led to quadriplegia. Taylor, who also suffers from developmental disability, now requires 24-hour care.

Taylor sued Schilling, alleging negligent driving. Schilling admitted liability for the collision but disputed the plaintiff’s damages.

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Mary Lewis, Tashwan Banks and Kathleen O’Sullivan filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated against Atlantic Richfield Co., ConAgra Grocery Products Inc., NL Industries Inc. and Sherwin-Williams Co. claiming that these entities engaged in civil conspiracy.

In addition, the plaintiff class consisted of parents or legal guardians who incurred expenses, allegations of liabilities in testing their children.

The children, between Aug. 18, 1995 and Feb. 19, 2008, were between six months and six years old. They lived in zip codes identified by the Illinois Department of Public Health as “high risk” areas for lead toxicity.

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