Parked CTA Bus Hit By Elderly Driver – 395,858 Verdict for Injured Bus Driver In Maldonado v. Meade

Typically auto accidents occur between two vehicles engaged in the driving process. It is fairly unusual for a driver to hit a parked car or standing vehicle without some contributing factors. Yet that is what happened in the Chicago bus accident that resulted in the Illinois personal injury lawsuit of Jose Maldonado v. Leona Meade, 09 L 6610 (Cook County).

In 2007, Jose Maldonado, a CTA bus driver, was sitting in his disabled bus. The bus was facing northbound on Chicago’s Sheridan Road, its flashers on. At the same time, the 89 year-old Leona Meade was driving her car northbound on Sheridan Road. Despite being on the opposite side of the street as the parked bus, Meade somehow managed to crash her car into the front of Maldonado’s CTA bus.

As a result of the Chicago car-bus accident, Maldonado suffered a torn labrum in his right shoulder. The labrum is the area of cartilage around the shoulder socket that helps stabilize the shoulder joint. An injury in this area can require a lengthy recovery, during which time shoulder mobility is extremely limited.

While a labrum tear can sometimes be treated conservatively, Mr. Maldonado was not so lucky. The 28 year-old required arthroscopic surgery, along with debridement of the labrum and subacromial decompression. Because his recovery required Mr. Maldonado to keep his arm in a sling, he was forced to take some time off of work.

At the Chicago personal injury trial, the defendant, Mrs. Meade, admitted that she was responsible for the auto accident. Typically a defendant will do so when there is little doubt as to who was at fault. In Mrs. Meade’s case, considering that she drove her car into a parked bus, there was little question that she caused the vehicle accident.

However, even though the defense admitted liability for the auto accident, it contended the extent of Mr. Maldonado’s injuries. Specifically, the defense denied that the vehicle collision was the cause of plaintiff’s labrum tear and the resulting surgery. If the Chicago jury agreed with the defense it could not hold Mrs. Meade responsible for paying the plaintiff’s medical bills.

However, the jury found that the plaintiff’s injuries were in fact caused by the Chicago bus accident, which were then due to the defendant’s negligence. It returned a verdict of $395,858:

$150,000 for pain and suffering;
$150,000 for loss of normal life;
$63,870 for medical bills; and
$31,988 for lost income.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Chicago car crash cases for individuals and families for more than 35 years in and around Chicago, Cook County, and surrounding areas, including Hinsdale, Berwyn, Downers Grove, Glen Ellyn, Palatine, and Long Grove.

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