GWC Partner Michael D. Fisher and attorney Lawrence J. Amato have obtained a $332,000.00 jury verdict in a highly contested pedestrian incident – nearly 33 percent more than the final settlement offer.
Jeep Backs Over Woman in Parking Lot
In October 2017, GWC’s client, a 64-year-old Arizona woman, was walking through an Enterprise Rent-A-Car parking lot at O’Hare International Airport. At the same time, an Enterprise employee was driving a rental car from the clean-and-wash area to a designated parking spot.
After looking both ways, the client began crossing the southbound lane of a two-lane aisle in the lot. As she entered the northbound lane, she was struck from behind by the Enterprise employee, who had been backing a Jeep in reverse in a southbound direction through the northbound lane at an unsafe speed, running over the client’s right foot and ankle.
Injuries Require Surgical Repair
The client sustained a Lisfranc tear of her right mid-foot ligaments and fractures of her right foot and ankle. As a result, she was required to undergo right foot and ankle surgery and a regimen of post-surgical physical therapy.
Defendants Claim Incident Is Client’s Fault
Mr. Fisher and Mr. Amato filed suit against Enterprise and its employee who struck their client. Throughout the litigation, the Defendants claimed the client was at fault for failing to keep a proper lookout for auto traffic while crossing through the parking lot. They also disputed the nature, extent, and value of the injuries she sustained.
GWC Overcomes Defense’s Objections
During the litigation, Mr. Fisher and Mr. Amato were able to obtain Enterprise’s internal driver training and safety materials, which prohibited Enterprise drivers from going faster than 10 MPH in the parking lot. The materials also required the frequent use of rear and side view mirrors while backing up.
Despite the same, video footage of the occurrence obtained by GWC demonstrated the driver’s violation of these safety rules. The footage depicted him reversing the Jeep more than 50 feet southbound in the northbound lane at an unreasonable speed. He also appeared not to apply his brakes before striking the client. On examination at trial, the driver admitted his failure to follow these safety rules.
Only Six Months of Medical Care
“Our client received treatment for her injuries for only six months following the incident, which was completely justified given the extent of the damage,” explained Mr. Amato. “She also had not received any medical care in the five years leading up to trial.”
The Defendants argued these facts as a reason to not fairly compensate the client. Just prior to trial, the defense made a low offer of $250,000.00, far less than Mr. Fisher and Mr. Amato believed the case was worth. They rejected the same and proceeded to trial.
Jury Verdict Exceeds Final Settlement Offer
Based upon the strength of the case GWC presented over the course of a four-day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the Plaintiff, awarding $332,000.00 for the damages she sustained – nearly 33 percent more than the Defendants’ final settlement offer prior to trial.
“We faced many difficulties with this case,” said Mr. Fisher. “Fortunately, we were able to help the jury see through the Defense’s spurious arguments and award our client fair compensation for everything she went through.”
Get the Compensation You Deserve
Unlike many of our competitors, who rarely, if ever, see the inside of a courtroom, we are not afraid to take a case to trial if we do not receive a settlement offer that reflects the entirety of a client’s losses. To maximize your claim value, whether by settlement or trial, contact the dedicated personal injury and workers’ compensation attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers LLC.
With more than $2.5 billion recovered in verdicts and settlements, GWC is one of the premier personal injury and workers’ compensation law firms in Illinois. At GWC, our trial lawyers have the experience, determination, resources, and reputation you need to help get you and your family the justice you deserve.<< BACK TO BLOG POSTS