Corboy & Demetrio Obtains $4.5 Million for Family of Girl Killed in CTA Bus Crash

A settlement totaling $4.5 million was approved today by Cook County Circuit Court Judge Diane Larsen in a lawsuit against the Chicago Transit Authority filed by the family of a 10-year-old girl who was run over and killed by a CTA bus while crossing the street with her mother. Corboy & Demetrio represented her family and explained that the $3.5 million of the settlement is to compensate the family for the death of 10-year-old Ayesha Wawdiwala and that $1 million was agreed upon to compensate her mother for the negligent infliction of emotional distress she experienced when she saw the bus roll over her daughter’s head as the two were crossing the street, holding hands. The $1 million negligent infliction of emotional distress settlement equals the largest award ever for such a claim in Cook County.

At about 8:00 p.m. on November 7, 2002, the mother and daughter were crossing Foster Avenue from south to north at its intersection with Sheridan Road in the crosswalk when the CTA bus, driven by Sheila Watkins, made a left turn from southbound Sheridan to proceed east on Foster. The bus knocked Ayesha to the ground before rolling over her head and crushed her skull as Fatima held her daughter’s hand and tried to pull her to safety.

The girl, an honor roll student at the Walt Disney Magnet School, is survived by her mother, father, 13-year-old brother, and 2 ½-year-old sister. The family immigrated from Pakistan in 1989, became U.S. citizens, and were pursuing the American dream when their daughter was killed. The family has lived in an apartment above the intersection of the fatal collision since coming to Chicago.

The $3.5 million wrongful death settlement will be divided equally between her parents, her brother, and her sister. 

The $1 million settlement for the negligent infliction of emotional distress suffered by Fatima is a high dollar value for such a claim. The girl's mother has been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and suffers from this condition.