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Illinois Verdicts

Find out about the most important recent Illinois cases, selected by VerdictSearch editors. Coverage includes Cook County.

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Jury awards $2.48 million after collision injured train operator

A jury has delivered a seven-figure damage award to a train operator injured in a crossing accident. Operator Jeffery Bryant of the Chicago Transit Authority had sounded his horn as the safety gates were lowered at a Kedzie Avenue crossing in 2012, and slammed on the train’s emergency brakes, but a city of Chicago police vehicle that had crossed on to the double-track was struck. Bryant, thrown forward and jostled inside the train car, was diagnosed with herniated L4-5 and L5-S1 discs and soft-tissue injuries. In 2015, he had fusion surgery. The city of Chicago argued the officer in the police vehicle was in pursuit of a bicyclist who was a suspect and a threat, but the jury found for Bryant and awarded him $2.48 million in damages.
Bryant v. City of Chicago
Cook County

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Injured train mechanic recovers $5.4M from employer

A jury awarded more than $5.4 million to a railroad mechanic who claimed that he fell and was injured while repairing a locomotive. The suit’s plaintiff, Andreas Bakopoulos, slipped in a puddle of fuel while loosening nuts with a wrench. He contended that his employer, Union Pacific Railroad Co., did not provide a proper wrench and should have stopped work when the puddle developed. He claimed that he sustained an inguinal hernia and damage of a spinal disc. He underwent spinal fusion. Union Pacific contended that Bakopoulos had a proper wrench and should have removed the spilled oil. The jury assigned 60.5 percent of the blame to Union Pacific. Its award, $9 million, was reduced to $5,445,000, to reflect Bakopoulos’ share of the liability.
Bakopoulos v. Union Pacific Railroad Co.
Cook County

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CTA, passenger settle after sudden stop injured leg

Parties have settled after a passenger fell and sustained an injury on a Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus. Mary Ellen Murray, 67, was on a CTA bus on North Michigan Avenue in 2013 when, while walking down the center aisle to sit in an empty seat, she claimed the bus stopped without warning, causing her to fall forward and strike the console of the bus’s front window. Transported to a hospital via ambulance, Murray was diagnosed with a fractured right femur, had corrective surgery, and sued the CTA and the bus driver for an alleged violation of bus safety procedures. The defense argued the bus driver stopped the bus to avoid an accident with a merging vehicle, but prior to trial the CTA tendered $150,000 to settle the case.
Murray v. Chicago Transit Authority
Cook County

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