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Edward G. Willer Negotiates Record Settlement for Injured Motorcyclist

10.31.2007

Attorney Edward G. Willer of Corboy & Demetrio has negotiated a settlement for over $1.3 million for a motorcyclist who was injured after he drove into the left side of a construction tractor trailer.

On July 17, 2004, a 59 year-old retiree, was driving his motorcycle in a southerly direction on a state highway in a county outside Chicago, Illinois. A general contractor performing road construction near a bridge had reconfigured and reduced two southbound and two northbound lanes of traffic in the area to one lane of traffic in each direction, controlled only by temporary traffic control lights at each end of the single lane.

The motorcyclist had just driven through the one lane bridge construction area and was proceeding south in the inner lane of traffic. Also proceeding southbound, ahead of him in the outer southbound lane, was a construction truck which had just been loaded with material from the project site. The truck driver, who had just left the work area, was proceeding southbound in the outer traffic lane and veered right onto an entrance ramp. Suddenly he turned left, making a U-turn and blocked both southbound lanes of traffic. The motorcyclist, having no time to react and no place to go, crashed into the left side dual tires of the trailer. He suffered a fractured pelvis and a broken leg requiring two surgeries and rehabilitation.

Attorney Edward G. Willer stated:

The engineers at the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) had specifically directed the construction company’s foreman not to allow any U-turns at this construction site. In addition, the company’s own safety manual required them to protect the public motorists. By allowing its contractors to make these U-turns at the exchange, the company not only violated its own rules and regulations but broke its contractual promise to IDOT.

The safety of the public should always be the number one priority at any construction site, especially one where trucks are entering and exiting work zones. In this case, though, the defendants did not make safety a top priority and placed the life of every motorist near this construction site in jeopardy.

It’s a tragedy that the motorcyclist has had to suffer as much as he has, but hopefully, settlements such as this will make road construction companies more diligent in their efforts to provide a safe work site.

The settlement totaled $1,336,000.00 in its entirety.

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