$6,850,000 Settlement For 66 Year Old Chicago Area Plaintiff Who Was Injured When Struck By A Commercial Trailer

Posted By Power Rogers & Smith, P.C. || Nov 27, 2012

On May 22, 2008, the Plaintiff was a pedestrian in a parking lot when he was struck by a commercial trailer. The trailer had separated from a tractor driving across the parking lot and struck the Plaintiff as he stood faced in the opposite direction placing a package in the trunk of his car.

According to the police investigation, the trailer traveled over 30 feet across the parking lot after it had separated from the trailer with the trailer’s brakes significantly out of adjustment and fully defective. Plaintiff’s counsel took numerous depositions in the case and established that the brakes on the trailer at issue were completely defective. Had a number of the defendants identified the problems with the trailers brakes and had them repaired or replaced prior to the date of the occurrence, the trailer would have stopped before it struck the Plaintiff.

The Plaintiff filed this cause of action against Elite Cartage and their employee driver alleging, amongst other things, that the driver failed to attach the trailer to the tractor, failed to perform a proper pre-trip inspection which would have identified the ineffective trailer brakes, and the driver who moved the trailer the day before the occurrence failed to identify and report the trailer’s defective brakes. The original cause of action also contained allegations against APL, Pacer Global Logistics, St. George Warehouse of Illinois, Inc., and Toyo Inc. America.

The Plaintiff alleged that APL and Pace who owned, leased, and maintained the trailer at issue had failed to inspect and maintain its own trailer’s brakes and that they were also liable for the actions of the driver of the tractor trailer under the Federal Motor Carrier Act. The Plaintiff further alleged that St. George’s Warehouse was negligent in the failure to inspect the brakes on the trailer when their driver moved it the day before the occurrence. The allegations against Toyo Inc. America were that it failed to post speed limit signs and/or implement other changes to control motor carrier traffic on its lot.

The Plaintiff later amended his complaint adding Interpool, Interpool Titling Trust and Trac Lease which were other entities involved in the ownership of the trailer at issue. The allegations against these entities was based in their failure to inspect and maintain its own trailer’s brakes. Additionally, the Plaintiff named Bear Carthage and JAS Trucking as defendants which were trucking companies which moved the trailer prior to the date of the occurrence and failed to inspect the trailer’s brakes. Union Pacific Railway was also named as a defendant in this matter for their failure to properly inspect the trailer’s brakes when the trailer traveled into and out of its rail yards.

As a result of being struck by the trailer, the Plaintiff suffered lower extremity injuries including an L4-L5 fracture/dislocation which required spinal fusion/instrumentation and a left L4-L5 nerve root injury. The Plaintiff’s injuries are permanent and lifelong injuries to various areas of his bodies which will likely required future revision surgeries.

The Defendants collectively agreed to settle this matter with the Plaintiff for $6,850,000.00 on September 11, 2012.

The Plaintiff was represented by Todd A. Smith and Devon C. Bruce of Power Rogers & Smith, L.L.P.

With over 25 years of fighting and winning for our clients, the attorneys at Power Rogers & Smith are not afraid to fight on behalf of their clients. The firm has a proven success record, including obtaining the two largest recoveries in trucking cases in Illinois, one of which led to the recall and retesting of over 4,000 truckers, 72 criminal convictions, and a $100,000,000 settlement. Since 2000, Power Rogers & Smith has obtained over a billion dollars in recoveries which is three hundred million dollars ($300,000,000) more than its closest competitors according to the Law Bulletin Publishing Company’s annual survey. Again in 2011, it was ranked as the top law firm in recoveries in the annual settlement survey published in the Chicago Lawyer. Click here to see a few of the significant victories Power Rogers & Smith has won on behalf of their clients.

In addition to a history of recovering large multi-million dollar personal injury settlements and verdicts in trucking cases, Power Rogers & Smith strives to offer clients the best possible legal representation and is consistently listed among the best personal injury trial law firms in the United States. Its partners are listed among the “Best Lawyers in America” and “Illinois Super Lawyers” in addition to two of the partners being members of the Inner Circle of Advocates, a select legal organization limited to 100 of the nation’s best plaintiff lawyers. The partners at Power Rogers & Smithare also Fellows of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers as well as the American Academy of Trial Lawyers. To find out more about the attorneys at Power Rogers & Smith click here.

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