Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accidents

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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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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