$29.6 Million Record-Setting Verdict for Passenger in Metra Train Crash
The $29.6 million awarded to a seriously injured Chicago Metra train derailment passenger, represented by Corboy & Demetrio Chicago personal injury lawyers Thomas Demetrio and William Gibbs, is the largest verdict in Illinois for an individual injured in a mass transit crash.
The evidence at the two-week jury trial, presided over by Cook County Circuit Court Judge Thomas H. Hogan, revealed that on September 17, 2005, a double-decker five car Rock Island Metra train was traveling from Joliet toward downtown Chicago with 185 passengers on board. At about 8:30 a.m., the train encountered a track crossover with a maximum allowable speed of 10 miles per hour (mph). The train entered the crossover at 69 mph, causing it to violently derail.
The Metra train passenger, a 25 year-old woman and graduate of Lewis University, was traveling downtown on the Metra Rock Island Train Line from her home in Midlothian, Illinois, to her new job as an admissions counselor at Kaplan University. She was 13 weeks pregnant at the time. As a result of the derailment and crash, she suffered traumatic brain injury. She remained in a coma for several months. Her unborn child survived the wreck, and was born via emergency C-section in January, 2006.
The verdict was widely reported in the media. The International Herald Tribune, Lawyers USA Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Southtown Star featured the story as did ABC Channel 7, CBS Channel 2 and NBC Channel 5.