An Illinois jury recently returned a $4.5 million verdict for a Chicago truck accident lawsuit that resulted in severe spine and back injuries to the plaintiff in Dorman v. Sysco Food Services – Chicago, Inc., et al., No. 07 L 10296. The verdict followed a two-week trial held in the Circuit Court of Cook County.
The Illinois truck accident occurred when the plaintiff, David Dorman, was stopped at a red light in Chicago. While he was sitting at the light, Dorman’s vehicle was rear-ended by a truck owned by Sysco Food Services – Chicago, Inc. The defendant truck driver claimed that his breaks failed as he approached the plaintiff’s car. The high speeds at which the impact occurred were due to the fact that the defendant was exiting the Kennedy Expressway immediately prior to the truck accident.
The impact caused the truck to land on top of the plaintiff’s car and crush his roof, leaving the 31 year-old Dorman with severe neck and back injuries. Dorman required a two-level spinal fusion, two-disc replacement surgery, and a lumbar discectomy to repair the four bulging cervical discs and herniated disc he sustained during the Illinois auto crash.
The defendant trucking company and driver admitted responsibility for the accident, but contested the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s spinal injuries. Specifically, the defendants argued that the plaintiff was not seriously injured as a result of the Chicago trucking accident and that not all three of his surgeries were required because of the crash. Rather, the defense claimed that the plaintiff had injured his spine while on vacation in 2008, which was almost two years after the trucking accident occurred.
Another issue in the case was the extent of Dorman’s lost wages as a result of his injuries from the auto accident. Dorman, a trader employed by the Chicago Board of Trade, stated that he was no longer to work as a floor trader, which resulted in a lifetime loss of earnings of anywhere from $7 to $8 million. However, the defendants claimed that Dorman could in fact earn more money than he had prior to the accident by trading commodity futures on a computer rather than standing in the trading pits.
Neither party seemed to have completed convinced the jury as it did return a verdict in favor of the plaintiff; however, it was only for $4.5 million, which was presumably much less than he had asked for given his many surgeries and projected lost wages.
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