Cook County Jury Verdict for Speeding Motorist Who Struck Pedestrian; Dart-Out Defense

On June 25, 2007, 37-year-old Latroy Haynes maintained that he was walking eastbound along Cicero Avenue in the crosswalk on Archer Avenue in the city of Chicago.  He said he had a green light when he was hit by Leonarda Gonzalez’s speeding southbound car.

The impact caused Haynes’s leg to get caught in the vehicle’s wheel well.  He suffered displaced tibia-fibula fractures in his left leg.  This required open reduction internal fixation with placement of rods and screws.  Haynes had more than $32,000 in medical bills.

The defendant, Leonarda Gonzalez, contended that she had a green light and that Haynes darted out south of the crosswalk from between two vehicles in the adjacent southbound lanes to the right. Gonzalez, age 54, said she did not see Haynes before the impact.  The contact between Haynes and the Gonzalez vehicle occurred on the passenger side of her car.

Haynes’s best friend testified to being an eyewitness and supported his version of the events.  However, the friend was not listed as a witness on the police report. There was an independent witness who supported Gonzalez’s version of how the incident occurred. 

This case was tried before the Honorable Michael R. Panter as a summary trial with stipulated medical records read to the jury.  The parties had entered into a high/low agreement, which would pay the plaintiff $100,000 if the jury found him 50% or less at fault and award him nothing if he was over 50% at fault.  The jury found that Haynes was more than 50% at fault and thus, Haynes received nothing. 

Before trial, the demand to settle the case was the defendant’s insurance policy limits of $100,000. There was no offer to settle made by Gonzalez.

Latroy Haynes v. Leonarda N. Gonzalez, No. 09 L 7456 (Cook County, Illinois).

 Kreisman Law Offices has been successfully handling automobile accident cases, pedestrian accident cases and bicycle accidents injury cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 38 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Berwyn, Cicero, Aurora, Oak Park, Elmwood Park Bedford Park Justice, Hickory Hills, Oak Lawn, Blue Island, Riverdale, Chicago (Pilsen, Logan Square, Albany Park, Edgebrook, Norwood Park, Edison Park, Lincoln Square), Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Rosemont, Schiller Park and Schaumburg, Ill.

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