Unfortunately, we have seen many fatalities occur in pedestrian incidents as well. The toll that they take on the families and loved ones of the decedent is unspeakable. Below are some case summaries of wrongful death pedestrian accident cases from various Illinois jurisdictions.
Should you have a question about a pedestrian fatality case involving a loved one, we invite you to contact our office and schedule a consultation with an attorney who has experience with similar cases. 888-424-5757
MARSHALL VS. FUENTES; KANE COUNTY; $875,000 JURY AWARD
Arlene Marshall was an energetic 68-year-old woman out for a bike ride in St. Charles, Illinois. A truck came up behind her and attempted to execute a right-hand turn but in doing so entered the bike lane and hit Marshall. She died as a result of the incident.
The estate of Marshall filed a lawsuit against the driver and the driver’s employer. Both defendants countered that Marshall was contributorily negligent by leaving the bike lane and ignoring traffic signals. Rather than risk significant losses at trial, they decided to settle with the plaintiff for $875,000.
NEACE VS. MILLER; COOK COUNTY; $3,500,000 JURY AWARD
The decedent in this case was a United States Air Force veteran, wife, and mother. She tried to cross a four-lane highway at night but was run over by the defendant’s car. The force of the vehicle ripped her spine right in half; she died almost immediately.
The real controversy in this case was if the victim was crossing the street on an official crosswalk. Illinois law defines a crosswalk as between lateral lines that connect two sidewalks on both sides of the road. The jury decided that she was walking within a crosswalk and that the driver was negligent in the operation of his vehicle.
They awarded her estate $3,500,000 but, in an apparent compromise, cut this in half by also giving her 50% of the responsibility for the incident. Thus, she actually only recovered half of that award.
NEACE VS. MILLER; COOK COUNTY; $750,000 JURY AWARD
Luiz Cruz was a 14-year-old out for a ride on his bike when a vehicle going approximately 50 miles per hour clipped him from behind. The boy fell off his bicycle and died upon impact.
Considering that local authorities were simultaneously bringing criminal charges against the man, he did not stand a chance in civil court. He settled with the decedent’s mother for $650,000 and with the decedent’s brother for $100,000.
VALADEZ VS. DAVIS; COOK COUNTY; $3,100,000 JURY AWARD
Leticia Valadez was walking through a crosswalk on the south side of Chicago when a private bus rammed into her and dragged her for a few blocks. Injuries related to this accident later killed Valadez.
The estate of Valadez sued the driver and the company the driver was working for at the time of the crash for negligence. The plaintiffs brought their action under the Wrongful Death Act of Illinois for loss of consortium and various survival damages. The jury found that both defendants were liable to the plaintiff for $3,100,000 in the following categories:
- Pain and Suffering:
- Loss of Society:
- Loss of Services:
CASTROGIOVANNI VS. BURLINGTON NORTHERN; COOK COUNTY; $5,000,000 JURY AWARD
This incident involved a disabled and blind man who tried to go over a railroad crossing but was hit by an approaching train. Unfortunately, he did not survive his injuries and died later that day.
Representatives for the decedent’s estate filed suit against the train company under the Wrongful Death Act and Survival Act for the pain that he had to endure prior to his death and for the loss of consortium and services following his death.
At trial, the plaintiffs alleged that the company should have alerted customers that its train would be riding on the opposite side of the tracks than it normally did and that it failed to protect customers from oncoming traffic.
The defendants replied that the plaintiff should have yielded to the train, that he ignored train lights and signals, and that he went around protective barriers. The jury found that the defendants were 95% at fault and the plaintiff was 5% at fault; therefore, their $5,000,000 award to the decedent’s estate was lowered to $4,750,000.
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