$6.8 Million Verdict - Largest in Illinois for the Loss of a Leg
A Cook County jury awarded a former truck driver $6.8 million for the loss of his right leg in an accident in the Soo Line rail yard in Bensenville. It is the largest verdict for the loss of a leg in Illinois and was reported on in the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun Times. The truck driver was represented by Robert Bingle, managing partner at the Corboy & Demetrio law firm.
During trial, testimony revealed that the truck driver went to the Soo Line rail yard and parked his truck near the tracks to pick up an empty semitrailer. He hooked his trailer to his tractor and was removing support legs when a Soo Line train of 12 flatcars and a locomotive hit the tractor, knocking it over and pinning the driver under its wheels. The driver was dragged more than 20 feet as the wheels crushed his leg; it was later amputed above the knee.
Bingle argued during the trial that the defendants did not follow safety rules governing the movement of trains and did not have a lookout man at the end of the train.
The trial was presided over by Circuit Court Judge James Sullivan and lasted eleven days.