Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accidents

Margarita Martinez was crossing a city street in a crosswalk when Robert Lane, driving a van for the defendant Premium Laundry Corp., began turning left into the intersection.  The van hit Martinez, 79, and dragged her several car lengths.

Martinez sustained multiple severe injuries, including fractures to her ribs, spine, pelvis, and left tibia and fibula. She also suffered a lung contusion and a facial laceration.

She was rushed to a hospital emergency room, but she unfortunately died of respiratory and cardiac arrest within an hour of her arrival. She is survived by her husband, Mario Martinez.

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George Williams was on his way to an appointment when he entered a crosswalk in downtown Tacoma, Wash. He was in his 70s at the time of this incident.

Unfortunately, he was hit by a car driven by the defendant Sammy Cubean, who was distracted while looking for something in his glove compartment at the time of the accident.

Williams had various pre-existing health problems, including renal failure and heart disease. Because of this incident, he suffered a mild closed-head injury and fractures to his shoulder and ribs. His medical expenses totaled more than $219,000.

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In a personal injury lawsuit filed in Cook County concerning the pedestrian-vehicle collision that severely injured 2-year-old Angela Williams, the attorney representing Williams nonsuited the lawsuit in order to refile it with a jury demand. The plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the second amended complaint in April 2017 before refiling it days later, this time with a jury demand.

The same motion judge was assigned to the case. A month later, the defendant, Gregory Leonard, moved to substitute the motion court judge. The judge denied Leonard’s motion based on his interpretation of the Illinois Supreme Court case of Bowman v. Ottney, 2015 IL 119000.

Because the motion court judge thought that if he was wrong, it would hamper the progress of this case, he allowed the parties to file an interlocutory appeal. The issue on appeal was interpretation of Section 2-1001(a)(2) of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure, which gives the parties the right to substitute judges once without cause before substantive case issues had been decided.  The Illinois Supreme Court in Bowman, held that the provision should not be used for “judge shopping” by plaintiffs.

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Joan Grove was standing at an intersection in downtown Pittsburgh during rush hour. She was in her fifties at the time. While a bus was attempting to pass another car near the intersection, the driver of that commuter bus came close to the curb where Grove stood. The bus struck Grove, and she fell to the ground.

While lying on the ground, the bus’s rear wheel ran over her right lower leg. Grove suffered a crush injury to that leg. She later developed a MRSA infection and osteomyelitis, which led to the amputation of her leg.

Grove sued the Port Authority of Allegheny County claiming that its driver chose not to keep a proper lookout during rush hour. The defendant maintained that Grove had stepped into the bus’s path by standing on the outside curb margin.

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On May 16, 2012, Jeremiah Guthrie was attempting to walk eastbound across Central Avenue just south of the intersection of Harrison Street in Chicago. He made it across one lane (the southbound right lane) when he was hit in the second lane (the southbound left lane) by the motorcyclist and defendant Jaroslaw Baranek, who was southbound.

Guthrie, 53, suffered fractures to his left ankle, tibia, fibula and wrist as well as a puncture wound to his left calf. His medical bills were $140,488. There was no claim for lost time from work.

The defendant stipulated to plaintiff’s injuries and medical expenses, but denied the defendant, a 32-year-old electrician, was at fault and contended that the plaintiff was more than 50% at fault for his own injuries because he crossed the street at mid-block.

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On Oct. 17, 2011, Margaret Baumrucker was walking to work when she was hit by a taxicab in a crosswalk at the intersection of Oak Park Avenue and Windsor in Berwyn, Ill. Baumrucker, 60, was a psychiatric nurse and sustained a rotator cuff tendinopathy and glenoid labral tear/shredding in her left shoulder, which was unoperated. She will require periodic physical therapy treatment for the rest of her life. At trial, Baumrucker presented $25,641 in medical expenses and 13 weeks of lost time from work totaling $22,100. She is now retired.

Baumrucker asserted that the defendant cab company, Express Cab Dispatch, was willful and wanton in its failure to properly vet and clear the defendant taxi driver Luis Leal before hiring him as a one of its drivers, including its failure to check his prior driving record and investigate his employment background. The cab company also chose not to provide any training for him after he was hired.

Leal started working for Express Cab just a couple of weeks before this occurrence, and he reportedly had a bad driving record. The defendants admitted negligence, but denied willful and wanton misconduct and denied that the plaintiff was permanently injured.

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Jimmy Garcia, a 67-year-old retiree, had a history of subdural hematoma and skull fracture, which had caused him temporary cognitive impairment.

Garcia was crossing a city street in a crosswalk when a floral truck owned and operated by George Seretis struck him after turning left out of a parking garage.  Garcia suffered a fractured rib cage and severe skull fractures, which caused intracranial hemorrhages and a traumatic brain injury.

He underwent emergency brain surgery and later received extensive inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation. He now suffers hearing loss and attends a therapy center with cognitive impairments. Garcia sued the floral business and Seretis, alleging Sereits chose not to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian in the crosswalk or identify what was in front of his van to avoid the collision.

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On Nov. 13, 2007, Daniel Ruschke was walking southbound across Route 38 at the intersection with 3rd Street in Geneva, Ill., when he was hit in the crosswalk by the defendant’s car as it turned left from southbound 3d Street onto eastbound Route 38. Ruschke, 64, maintained that he sustained medial meniscus and lateral meniscus tears in his right knee with aggravation of pre-existing arthritis in the knee, which resulted in the need for arthroscopic surgery.

Ruschke also claimed a permanent right ankle injury. At trial Ruschke’s attorney submitted $28,078 in medical bills into evidence. Ruschke also cited an emergency appendectomy as part of his claimed injuries, but this was disproved during the discovery portion of the case.

The defendant admitted negligence and conceded plaintiff’s arthroscopic knee surgery was proximately caused by the accident.

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On March 13, 2011, Maria Ruth Garcia was walking northbound across Adams Street midblock near Des Plaines Street in Chicago when she was struck by the defendant’s backing car, which was allegedly going 40-50 mph in reverse. The defendant was Maureen O’Grady.

Garcia, 56, suffered a bump on her head as well as neck and back strains. She underwent 7 months of chiropractic treatments, which totaled in expenses $27,799.

O’Grady, 46, argued that she was driving westbound on Adams when she stopped at Old St. Patrick’s Church, where she backed up to access a parking lot on the south side of that street. She said she had only backed up a foot or two prior to contact with Garcia.

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On Feb. 2, 2012, Elliot Gonzalez was walking northbound across Erie Street at May Street in Chicago when he was hit in the crosswalk by Patrick Kennely’s pickup truck. Kennely was a commercial property manager and was making a left turn from northbound May Street onto Erie at the time of the accident.

The plaintiff, Elliot Gonzalez, 19 at the time, sustained three transverse process vertebral fractures, a sprained ankle, contusions and bruises. His medical bills totaled $32,627. He also missed a week and half of work as a cell phone salesman.

Kennely admitted liability but contested the plaintiff’s claims of damages. His attorney cross-examined Gonzalez’s treating physician and orthopedic surgeon for 4 ½ hours regarding the care and treatment he gave to the plaintiff. The jury apparently was persuaded by that round of cross-examination because its verdict of $29,565 was less than the offer to settle the case, which was $45,000.

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