Home » Blog » Harley Davidson Motorcycle Hits Urinal on Illinois Expressway, Case Settles for $5.35 Million

Harley Davidson Motorcycle Hits Urinal on Illinois Expressway, Case Settles for $5.35 Million

A $5,350,000.00 settlement was reached for orthopedic injuries to the driver of a motorcycle who struck a 90 lbs. steel urinal lying on the Edens expressway. Louis Cairo of GWC was able to prove that the steel urinal fell off of a plumbing truck landing in the middle of the Southbound lanes of traffic just north of Lake Cook Road because it was improperly secured when it was loaded on the truck.

Irwin Morris was driving to work September 12, 2011 about 6:40 am when the accident occurred. When Morris attempted to go around a van that he was following in the middle lane of the expressway, his motorcycle struck the urinal that was in a cardboard box laying on the dashed line separating the middle and left hand lanes of traffic. The violent impact caused the Morriss Harley motorcycle to do a summersault in mid air with Morris still on the bike. Both came crashing down in the southbound lanes in busy morning rush hour traffic sliding along the roadway. With the custom motorcycle sliding over 450′ in down the highway, and Mr. Morris sliding over 150′ on the pavement, his injuries were limited to his right ankle, left pinky and a serious aggravation of a prior low back condition. The fact that he suffered no head injuries, road rash or debriding injuries was nothing short of a miracle.

Senior Partner, Louis Cairo, resolved the lawsuit against the plumbing contractor on Friday, January 31, 2014 with defense attorney, Rick Nugent of Urso and Nugent in Chicago. The case was previously mediated before Judge Joe Casciato, but the parties were unable to close the gap between the $5.9M demand and $2.0M offer that was made at that time. While we were unsuccessful in resolving the matter at that time, everyone agreed that we had a very effective mediation with Judge Casciato leading to the eventual settlement of this case. Following the mediation, plaintiff had a spinal fusion surgery to correct a pre-existing spinal stenosis that was aggravated in the incident, according to orthopedic surgeon, Avi Bernstein, MD, and they completed F2 medical discovery, other than a second deposition of plaintiffs ankle surgeon and Dr. Bernstein. With little left to do, other than wait another year or more for a trial date, the lawyers resolved the case.

The case involved a collision that occurred in the early morning hours on the Edens Expressway in an obviously strange set of circumstances. This is definitely the first case that I have ever handled involving a motorcycle, or any type of a vehicle, and a urinal! If it was not for the serious nature of Irwins injuries, Im sure that there would have been quite a few jokes around the office about this type of an accident. The unique thing about this case is that when a motorist flagged down the truck driver that lost part of his load, the driver [a now deceased part-owner of the defendant plumbing company] pulled to the side of the road, called another co-employee driving a mile behind him, and advised him of the situation so as to watch for the errant load. And the driver stayed on the shoulder of the road waiting for the police to investigate this incident as one would hope any concerned citizen would do. According to trial lawyer, Louis Cairo.

Plaintiff claimed medical bills of $400,000, half of which was related to his aggravated lower back condition that required a laminectomy and a recent spinal fusion by Dr. Bernstein in December of 2013. Despite being 61 years old at the time of this incident, Plaintiff claimed a substantial wage loss for his job that he was contractually forced to resign from due to his length of incapacitation from work. Earnings were $120,000.00 at the time of the incident, and would have been $200,000.00/yr at present for the now 64 year old Plaintiff.

GWC is the Largest Personal Injury and Workers Compensation law firm in Illinois. The firms attorneys handle catastrophic cases throughout the country in all types of cases involving, particularly, transportation industry, construction, nursing home abuse, product liability and mass tort.

Please contact Louis Cairo for further information related to this motorcycle accident in Illinois or about GWC.