$3 Million for Family of Bicyclist Struck & Killed CTA Bus
An Orland Park family today settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the Chicago Transit Authority for $3,000,000. The suit was filed by Thomas and Patricia Schonauer for their daughter, Brigette, after she was hit and killed by a Chicago city bus on June 18, 1994. The settlement is significant, in part, because Ms. Schonauer had no dependants. The case was scheduled to go to trial today when the agreement was reached this afternoon.
"No family should have to go through what the Schonauers have lived with these past five years," said Thomas A. Demetrio, Co-founder of the Chicago law firm of Corboy & Demetrio, which handled the case. "I'm just glad they can try and put this behind them," Demetrio said.
On Saturday, June 18, 1994, at approximately 1:00 p.m., at 1111 West Diversey, Brigette Schonauer was riding her bicycle in an eastbound direction immediately adjacent to the car parking lane and next to the eastbound through lane of traffic. She was followed by her boyfriend, Scott DeBlaze. As Ms. Schonauer was proceeding eastbound, a CTA bus pulled next to her. Witnesses indicated that the bus veered to its right and came into contact with Schonauer's bicycle. The bicycle hit the bus between the front and rear-entrance doors, causing Schonauer to fall to the ground. The right rear wheels of the bus then ran over Ms. Schonauer, killing her.
Ms. Schonauer was transported by Chicago Fire Department Ambulance Number 48 to Illinois Masonic Hospital, where she was pronounced dead on arrival.
The driver of the CTA bus and a defendant in the lawsuit, Luis A. Tollinchi, was issued a citation at the scene of the accident by investigating Chicago Police Officer Richard Johnson.
Brigette Schonauer was 24 years old at the time of her death and lived in Chicago. She was employed by the North Side Medical Clinic as a chiropractic physician. She attended Illinois Benedictine College in Lisle and National Chiropractic School in Lisle.
She is survived by her parents, two brothers Derek and Kurt, and a sister, Kirstin. Mr. Schonauer is currently Vice President and General Manager of Federal Signal Corporation in University Park, Illinois.