The Perez family, whose three children suffered serious injuries afterbeing struck by a car while standing on a street corner, settled theirlawsuit for over $18.5 million on Thursday, December 22, 2016. Power Rogersfounding partner Joseph A. Power Jr. was one of the attorneys representingthe Plaintiffs.
In June of 2008, Filiberto Perez sued the driver of the vehicle that crashedinto his children as well as multiple construction contractors, allegingthat a road barricade placed in the wrong location caused Alyssa Johnson,the driver, to collide with an oncoming vehicle, lose control, and crashinto the sidewalk where his children were standing.
According to Mr. Power, Johnson was attempting to make a right turn fromsouthbound Greenwood Avenue onto West 127th Street in Blue Island. Constructionbegan for a project to widen the road about one month before the incident,and Johnson, who was driving on a learner’s permit and only 18-years-oldat the time, needed to judge oncoming traffic over an 8-foot-wide and5-foot-tall barricade before making her turn.
As she turned into traffic, her car struck a pickup truck. Samuel Brionesof Briones, Harvey & Trevino, one of the attorneys who also representedthe Plaintiffs, explained:
“Her left front fender struck the right front fender of the pickuptruck. She loses control of her car and travels a couple hundred feet,goes onto the sidewalk and actually strikes the three kids.”
Two of the children injured in the crash received treatment for their injuriesand have physically healed, while the third suffered far more seriousinjuries. He was pinned underneath Johnson’s car, which needed tobe lifted with airbags in order to free the minor victim. He suffereda fractured skull and remained in a coma for approximately a week afterbeing airlifted to the University of Chicago.
The doctors needed to wait for the swelling to subside before performingsurgery to remove bone fragments from the victim’s brain and repairthe damaged sections with plates and screws. Briones said that:
“They had to literally put the skull [fragments] back together likea jigsaw puzzle and insert them back into the skull… Accordingto our neuropsychologist expert from the University of Chicago, he has a permanent mental capacity of an 8- to 10-year-old.”
Perez alleged that the barricade was placed too close to moving traffic and went against the Illinois Department of Transportation’s traffic control plans. Briones commented that the barricade was supposed to be erected about 10 to 15 back in order to give motorists a clear line of sight, when in actuality it was set far closer to traffic.
During Johnson’s deposition, she testified that the top of the boards spanning across the barricade obstructed her sight line, while the defendants from the construction company countered that the eight inch-wide slots between the boards gave motorists a clear line of sight. In addition, the defendants from the construction company contested the extent of the victim’s injuries.
During discovery, the Plaintiffs learned that the general contractors had falsified traffic control reports they submitted to the Indiana Department of Transportation (IDOT), leading to the Perez family filing a count for punitive damages.
“Our clients are looking forward to putting this tragedy behind them and attempting to make the most of life,” said Power.
Peter V. Bustamante of the Law Office of Peter V. Bustamante also represented