REPRESENTATIVE VERDICTS

Teen Admits Negligence For Rear-Ender

William Reilly v Kenneth Forsberg, Jr. 01L-7269

  • Verdict: $17,314(Directed Liability) ($7,000 past and future pain & suffering; $2,500 past and future loss of normal life; $6,349 medical; $1,465 LT)
  • Judge: Richard J. Elrod (IL Cook-Law)
  • Pltf Atty: Hall Adams, III for Marvin A. Brustin Ltd. of Hall Adams LLC
  • Demand: $50,000
  • Asked: $375,000
  • Deft Atty: Mark B. Ruda of Condon & Cook (Allstate)
  • Offer: $22,000
  • Dr. Sudershan Saxena (Pain Management) and Dr. George Bryar (Neurosurgeon)

Plaintiff M-34 was a passenger in a car stopped in the left turn lane at 79th and Harlem, Bridgeview, when eastbound Defendant stopped behind Plaintiff's vehicle. A female friend of Defendant pulled up in the next lane, Defendant began talking to her, she moved forward, and Defendant took his foot off the brake without looking forward, believing the light had changed, and rolled into Plaintiff's vehicle. Plaintiff, who was taken from scene in ambulance, claimed the impact aggravated his pre-existing thoracic outlet syndrome (sustained in prior accident) with a severe and permanent increase in pain including headaches, neck, left shoulder, left arm and left hand pain and numbness; he also claimed a new injury of permanent low back pain with shooting pain into left leg and foot ($18,394 medl., $13,100 LT 9 weeks as CTA manager). Prior to this accident, Plaintiff had undergone four unsuccessful surgeries for thoracic outlet syndrome, left rotator cuff damage and left carpal tunnel syndrome.

Defense admitted negligence, but denied that Plaintiff's pre-existing injuries were aggravated since his symptoms were the same before and after accident and his pain medication had been increased eight days before occurrence. Defense contended the new low back injury was soft tissue in nature and not permanent, and maintained that Plaintiff was exaggerating his injuries. Court barred evidence and photographs of minimal damage to vehicles pursuant to DiCosola v Bowman, 342 Ill. App. 3d 530 (1st Dist. 2003); court also barred any testimony as to the force of the impact as there was no expert testimony that a minimal impact could not have caused the injury claimed by Plaintiff.