Chicago Bike Accident Results in 1.2 Million Verdict for College Student – Ferry v. Pendleton

For decades, summertime in Chicago has been synonymous with construction. But in recent years, summertime commuters are turning more and more to bicycles as their primary means of transportation. And while the use of this alternate means of travel is more environmentally friendly, it is also more dangerous for the commuters themselves. Take for example the Chicago bicycle injury lawsuit of Ashley Ferry v. Bryan Pendleton, Enterprise Leasing Company of Chicago, et al., 07 L 9024.

Ashley Ferry was a 23 year-old junior at Chicago’s Columbia College when she was riding her bike in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Ferry was riding northbound on Milwaukee Avenue in one of Chicago’s designated bike lanes when she was hit from behind by Bryan Pendleton. At the time of the Chicago bike accident, Pendleton was driving a car owned by his employer, Enterprise Leasing Company of Chicago.

Eyewitnesses testified at trial that Ferry had been thrown forward over her handlebars and then landed on her head about 20 feet away. She lost consciousness and needed to be revived by paramedics at the scene before being transported to Illinois Masonic Medical Center for medical treatment.

As a result of the bike-car accident, Ferry sustained multiple vertebrae fractures and developed a brain hemorrhage. She was diagnosed as having a traumatic brain injury, which her treating physicians testified to have caused permanent brain damage. Prior to her bicycle accident, Ferry was in her third year at Columbia College and held two part-time positions. However, following the car-bicycle accident, Ferry was left with multiple cognitive deficits, vertigo, chronic muscle pain, and some personality changes.

At trial, the defendant driver’s attorneys denied that Pendleton was in any way responsible for the Illinois bicycle accident and contested the extent of Ferry’s injuries. However, by the end of the trial the defense had raised its offer to settle from $500,000 to $1 million. Yet the plaintiff did not accept the settlement offer, but left it up to the jury to decide.

Pendleton was then called as an adverse witness by Ferry’s attorney; however, Pendleton failed to appear in court. As a result of Pendleton’s lack of testimony, the trial judge granted plaintiff’s motion for directed liability, i.e., the judge directed the jury to rule in favor of the plaintiff. The jury then needed to decide on the total damages that would be awarded to the plaintiff. It entered a jury verdict of $1.2 million.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Chicago bicycle accident lawsuits for individuals and families for more than 35 years in and around Chicago, Cook County, and surrounding areas, including Vernon Hills, Tinley Park, Oak Lawn, and Inverness.

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