On behalf of Goldberg Weisman Cairo
A 29-year-old Illinois man will receive $2.4 million for his injuries suffered during a car accident in May 2011. The victim was among a group of pedestrians who were on a Gold Coast walkway when a city truck driver plowed onto the sidewalk. The man was assisting with a photography shoot for his wife’s business at the time of the accident, according to news reports.
Authorities say the driver in the case was operating the truck with an open bottle of alcohol in the cab. In addition, his blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit. That man pleaded guilty to several counts of aggravated driving under the influence. As a result, he will spend nearly a decade behind bars.
Still, that was little consolation to the victim in this case, who suffered a serious injury to his leg when a bone shattered in the impact. Two bones in the man’s leg had to be repaired with metal plates, and the victim suffered from four fractured vertebrae in the collision.
The total civil payout associated with the case has now risen to $9 million, with the city of Chicago paying for the victims’ claims. In this instance, the victims can seek compensation from the city because administrators were responsible for the actions of the driver, who was acting under their authority. Even though the driver chose to get behind the wheel while drinking, the city had a duty to protect the innocent pedestrians by enforcing existing procedures and rules. Consequently, all city drivers are now subject to additional testing for alcohol and drugs in a bid to reduce the likelihood of a repeat of the incident.
One of the other victims received a $6.25 million settlement in connection with the crash. That man, a computer scientist, suffered a serious traumatic brain injury when he was struck by the vehicle. News reports have not described that man’s condition.
www.suntimes.com, “Jury awards $2.4M to man hit by drunken city truck driver” Fran Spielman, Sep. 23, 2013