Cook County Jury Verdict for Injured in High Speed Three-Car Crash; Jury Disregards Lost Income Claim

Nasrath Sawa-Malik, 52, was driving northbound on Interstate 55 (Stevenson Expressway) on June 18, 2010 when her car was rear-ended by a car driven by the defendant, Terry Cornwell, which struck Sawa-Malik’s car at a high rate of speed.  The impact caused Sawa-Malik to crash into the vehicle ahead of her.

The plaintiff sustained soft tissue injury to her neck and back.  She underwent injections recommended for pain.  Sawa-Malik maintained that before this car crash and her injuries, she accepted a contract to work as an Arabic interpreter for a U.S. defense contractor at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  Sawa-Malik said she was about to start the new job at the time of the crash but was unable to do so because of her injuries.

Cornwell admitted liability, but argued that Sawa-Malik could not prove her lost income for the translator job that she had never started.  Cornwell did not attend the trial.

Sawa-Malik claimed that she had $19,900 in medical expenses and $116,840 for the lost time for the translator job that would have lasted more than one year.  Plaintiff’s demand to settle the case before trial was $55,000.  The offer to settle pretrial was $49,858.  At closing argument, plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to return a verdict of $216,740.  The jury’s verdict of $29,910 was made up of the following damages:

  • $18,910 for medical expenses;
  • $8,000 for pain and suffering; and
  • $3,000 for loss of normal life.

The jury’s verdict was about $20,000 less than the defendant’s last offer to settle the case before the beginning of the jury trial. The jury’s verdict was noticeable in that it completely rejected the plaintiff’s claim for lost income from the job that had not yet started.  The attorney representing Sawa-Malik was Anthony A. Peraica.

Nasrath Sawa-Malik v. Terry L. Cornwell, No. 11 L 5239 (Cook County, Ill.).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling car accident cases, trucking accidents cases, motorcycle accidents and bicycle accident cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 37 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Elmwood Park, River Grove, Franklin Park, Schiller Park, Wood Dale, Elk Grove Village, Arlington Heights, Chicago (Little Village, Brighton Park, Marquette Park, Beverly, Washington Heights), Justice, Joliet, Bridgeview and Palos Hills, Ill.

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