DISCLAIMER: The results are specific to the facts and legal circumstances of each of the clients' cases and should not be used to form an expectation that the same results could be obtained for other clients in similar matters without reference to the specific factual and legal circumstances of each client's case.
On July 28, 2017, the Illinois Appellate Court sided with our client. It published an opinion that will make Illinois roads safer.
Here’s what happened:
In 2011, an Express Cab Company vehicle struck our client while walking in a crosswalk in Berwyn, Illinois. Our client is a retired nurse from Oswego, Illinois. She suffered a permanent shoulder injury from the crash. Her doctors told her that she will need physical therapy for the rest of her life.
In 2015, we tried her case in front of a Cook County jury. The jury awarded our client $897,740.81 for her shoulder injury and for punitive damages against Express.
Soon after the verdict, Express Cab Company appealed the decision. During the appeal process, Express pointed out that Illinois law does not require taxicab companies to vet drivers. They are only required to make sure the driver has an Illinois driver’s license and a chauffeur’s license. Since the driver had a license, Express argued that they could not be held liable for punitive damages.
However, Express did not check the driver’s driving record, criminal record, or employment history. They employed him without any training, despite knowing he had no experience behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle.
If they had performed a background check, Express Cab would have learned that their driver had multiple traffic court convictions. These included a DUI conviction and a criminal background.
The appellate court rejected Express Cab’s position, upholding our client’s verdict in its entirety.
“This opinion reinforces the need for companies to fully vet commercial drivers,” said Joseph Shannon of the impact this opinion holds for Illinois drivers and citizens. “This case arose out of an extremely poor vetting of a commercial driver. With the rapid expansion of transportation apps like Uber and Lyft, it is imperative that the riding public have the protection of a full vetting process by commercial driving companies.”