In April 2010, the plaintiffs Rose Schurer and Andrea DeVivo were driving westbound on Lawrence Avenue in Norridge, Ill., when an oncoming van crossed the center line and struck their vehicle. The eastbound van was driven by the defendant, 56-year-old Pawel Pawlowska.
The plaintiff, Schurer, suffered four fractures in her right leg and ankle, which required surgery. The second plaintiff, 42-year-old DeVivo, sustained a fractured pelvis requiring surgery. She later developed arthritis resulting in a total left hip replacement.
The plaintiffs Schurer and DeVivo maintained that Pawlowska was acting as a volunteer agent of the Catholic Bishop of Chicago (Archdiocese of Chicago) at the time of the crash because he was driving to a church to perform non-profit electrical work with installation of materials he recently purchased using the church’s tax-exempt status.