Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accidents

Sean Kleefeld, who was in his mid-40s, was leaving a commuter train and crossing a busy Chicago street in a crowd of other commuters. David Breese allegedly turned his vehicle onto the street, accelerated, fishtailed and hit Kleefeld, who suffered catastrophic injuries, including a compound fracture of his left femur and a fractured and dislocated right shoulder.

Kleefeld underwent surgery to place a titanium rod and other multiple screws and plates in his leg. He required months of physical therapy. His medical expenses totaled $275,000. In addition, Kleefeld missed eleven weeks from his job as a technology worker, where he earned approximately $105,000 per year.

Kleefeld, a marathon runner, was able to resume an active life. However, he sued Breese, alleging improper lookout.  Three eyewitnesses testified that although Kleefeld had been crossing in the middle of the street, it was the defendant Breese who was responsible for this incident.

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Tomas Buron was stuck by a delivery truck driven by Shane M. Lignar, an employee of Lily Transportation Co., on Nov. 27, 2017. The incident occurred in the parking lot of the Whole Foods delivery building in Munster, Ind.

Buron filed a lawsuit against Lignar and Lily in Cook County. Lignar and Lily moved to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that the circuit court lacked personal jurisdiction over both. Lignar is an Indiana resident, the crash occurred in Indiana, and Lily is a Massachusetts corporation with “only limited operations in Illinois.”

Discovery was done on the jurisdictional issue and Buron submitted in his reply brief that the court had jurisdiction over Lily based on the company’s operations in Illinois. Buron further replied that Lignar worked out of the facility in Illinois, made pickups and deliveries in Illinois twice weekly and filed Illinois tax returns in 2018 and 2019. The Cook County Circuit Court judge denied the motion to dismiss before an evidentiary hearing or oral argument. Lignar and Lily petitioned for an appeal.

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Charles Jacobus, 55, was attempting to cross the street in order to catch a bus when the SUV driven by Shayla Randle struck him. Randle, a teenager, had obtained her driver’s license the previous day. Jacobus suffered multiple fractures and a frontal lobe injury.

Jacobus spent 58 days in the hospital. He now has partial vision loss and speech difficulties. He was a store cashier earning approximately $20,000 per year. He has not returned to work.

Jacobus sued Randle, alleging that she chose not to control her motor vehicle, did not drive in a safe manner, failed to keep a proper lookout and obey Florida traffic laws. The lawsuit also alleged the vehicle’s owner, her mother, was liable for negligent entrustment.

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Sean McFly, a 29-year-old student at the University of Florida, was heading to class from a campus parking lot. As he was walking in the crosswalk, a truck driven by Billy Harrison, a University of Florida employee, hit him.  He suffered cervical disk herniation at C5-6 and C6-7 that resulted in nerve damage to his hands.

McFly suffers ongoing pain and will require spinal fusion at a later date. His past medical expenses totaled $36,000.

McFly sued the University of Florida alleging liability for Harrison’s choosing not to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. McFly claimed that Harrison had been using his cell phone at the time of the incident. It was also alleged that Harrison failed to slow down before the impact.

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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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Zachary Spencer, who had autism, was walking to his parents’ home one night on a street with no sidewalk. Michael Hornaday, a Papa John’s Pizza delivery driver, braked when he saw Spencer in front of him. However, the Hornaday car slid into Spencer, severely injuring him.

Spencer, 24, suffered multiple fractures, two broken teeth, and a moderate traumatic brain injury.  He underwent surgery, inpatient rehabilitation and dental work.

Spencer now walks with a limp, experiences pain and fatigue, and is unable to read for any length of time.

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On Oct. 10, 2013, Scott Gilman’s car ran over the left foot of Sweta Karn while the car was making a left turn on a street. Karn was a pedestrian at the time; she suffered severe and permanent injury to her foot. She filed a lawsuit against Gilman and his employer, Aspen Commercial Painting Inc.

Aspen and Gilman filed affirmative defenses sounding in contributory negligence and Karn’s failure to mitigate her damages.

At the jury trial, Aspen focused on a video that was taken that purported to show Karn walking, post incident, without a limp or any sign of her alleged permanent injuries. Karn, on seeing the video, denied that she was depicted in the video.

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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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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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