Cook County Jury Verdict of $2.4 Million for Truck Crash; Pitchford v. Knight Transportation

Clanton Pitchford, a truck driver, was in Tucson, Ariz., in 2006 and spent a night in his semi-trailer truck parked at a truck stop. The accident that caused this lawsuit was the collision with the rear end of Pitchford’s truck and a Knight Transportation truck traveling at about 5 mph.

Pitchford, 59, was sleeping in a raised bed behind the driver seat of his tractor when the collision took place.  He was tossed around, but did not fall out of the bed.  The accident caused Pitchford low back pain, which he did not have before this incident.

Pitchford went to a local emergency room five hours later and was diagnosed with a lumbar strain.

When Pitchford returned to Chicago a month later, he visited a spinal surgeon who diagnosed him with an aggravation of asymptomatic degenerative spondylolisthesis, which is where one vertebrae slips over the other.

The surgeon also diagnosed Pitchford with stenosis, which is the narrowing of the spinal column.  In 2007, Pitchford received fusion between his 3rd and 4th vertebrae to stabilize his spine.

Two years later, Pitchford received a spinal stimulator, which exerts electrical signals to the spinal cord to control chronic pain.  In 2011, he received a revision of his previous spinal fusion and a 4th and 5th vertebrae lumbar fusion.

The incident caused complications that led to the surgeries.  The offer before trial was $350,000 to settle the case.  But the first surgery alone cost $118,000. By the time the trial came along, Pitchford had paid another $500,000 in medical bills.

According to the report of the case, Pitchford had filed for bankruptcy protection. However, it was claimed that he did not disclose this lawsuit to his bankruptcy creditors. The defendant indicated it would file post-trial motions. One of the issues to be raised is the fact that Pitchford was allowed to pursue this case without mentioning the fact that he had a bankruptcy trustee.

The attorneys for Clanton Pitchford were Christopher Norem and Jordan W. LaClair

Clanton Pitchford v. Knight Transportation, Inc., et al., Case No. 08 L 8670.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling truck accident cases for individuals and families for more than 37 years, in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas including, Chicago (Gresham), Chicago (Burnside), Riverdale, Blue Island, Robbins, Bedford Park, Bridgeview, Cicero, Norridge and Wilmette, Ill.