GWC Injury Lawyers attorneys Louis Anthony Cairo and Lance Northcutt recently obtained a $330,484.00 verdict from a Cook County jury for a bicyclist who was struck and injured by a taxi driver. The jury’s verdict far exceeded the Defendants’ FINAL offer of $100,000.00.
Negligent Right-Hand Turn
On July 25, 2015, GWC client Steven Rogers was riding his bicycle southeasterly on Clybourn Avenue in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood. At that time, Bashir Mian, a taxi driver working for N.R. Cab Co., was driving his taxi down Clybourn Avenue, traveling in the same direction.
As both men were driving down Clybourn Avenue, the taxi made a sudden, unexpected right-hand turn into an unmarked alley just as Rogers peddled his bicycle alongside the taxi. Instinctively, and with few other options available, Rogers hit his breaks hard and flipped over the handlebars, striking the asphalt immediately alongside the then stopped taxi.
Despite the driver’s claims that he properly signaled his intention to turn and that the bicycle came out of nowhere, evidence proved that the taxi driver never turned on his turn signal, never checked any of the mirrors on his vehicle (including the driver’s side, the rearview, and the passenger’s side mirrors), and that he was actually looking 90 degrees towards his left out the driver’s door window for seconds before and while initiating his unexpected right-hand turn. This shocking evidence came from the onboard video camera that was situated on the taxi’s rearview windshield mirror! This proved to be an incredible piece of discovery that was preserved when Rogers’ attorney, Louis A. Cairo, sent a Spoliation of Evidence and Preservation letter to the cab company immediately upon being retained shortly after the incident.
Rogers was taken by ambulance to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He underwent immediate surgery to insert six screws and a plate to repair the damage to his left forearm, consisting of fractures of the radial head and the ulna.
A year later, Rogers underwent another surgery to remove the hardware from his left arm.
The total cost of medical treatment was more than $74,000.00. No loss of earnings was presented to the jury and Rogers has returned to full duty as a Yoga instructor, which was and remains his passion.
Why Try a Case that Happened on Video?
Despite the video evidence, the Defense argued that Rogers was the sole cause of the incident because he was riding his bike on the shoulder of the road and was in the process of passing the taxi on the right, rather than the left. Prior to trial, the insurance carrier made an offer of $100,000.00 in total compensation – an offer that was summarily rejected by Cairo and Northcutt as highly inadequate to provide their client with the compensation that he deserved.
“This was a perfectly healthy, 29-year-old man,” said Mr. Cairo. “The Defendants‘ negligence changed Steven’s life. Our job was to get him the compensation that he deserved. And we did that by putting our faith in the Circuit Court of Cook County and the good citizens of Cook County who sat on our jury.”
The Jury’s Verdict
The jury rejected the defense assessment of how the case should be valued. Following Cairo’s closing argument, and Northcutt’s passionate rebuttal, the jury spent a total of 51 minutes to have lunch and deliberate on the case before returning with its verdict of $330,484.00 – over 230% more than the Defendants’ final offer.
A Father’s Perspective
Managing Partner Louis C. Cairo was thrilled with the results, as he watched his son, Louis Anthony, try his first jury trial case with the firm’s newest partner, Lance Northcutt, as mentor and trial master. “What a thrill to watch my young son do such an amazing job along with my dear friend and partner, Lance Northcutt, AKA ‘The Dragon Slayer.’ If I total up all of my first five jury trials I don’t think that they would add up to $330,000 in verdicts. And my son did it on his first! I guess one would say that the future looks pretty good for him and the firm,” beamed the senior Cairo.
Selecting the right trial attorney from day one is the best way to ensure that you and your family will receive the just and complete compensation that you deserve!
If you or your loved one has been injured, please contact GWC today to schedule a free consultation with one of our trial attorneys. Call our office at (312) 464-1234 or click here to chat with one of our representatives.