PRESS RELEASE – $91 Million Recovery

Power Rogers | Feb 13, 2023

PRESS RELEASE – $91 Million Recovery
Home » Blog » PRESS RELEASE – $91 Million Recovery

Joseph A. Power, Jr., Larry R. Rogers, Jr. and James I. Power of Power Rogers, LLP and Louis Berns of Favil David Berns & Associates reached an agreement to settle their client, C.E.G.’s, claims against 7-Eleven, Inc. for $91 million. The parties were scheduled to begin picking a jury on Monday, February 6, 2023 before the Honorable Judge Mary Minella. This is the largest pretrial recovery for a person injured in the history of the State of Illinois.

On September 20, 2017, after purchasing his morning coffee, C.E.G. was waiting for his ride to work while standing outside of a Village of Bensenville 7-Eleven. At that same time, a patron was attempting to park his vehicle in one of the storefront’s forward facing perpendicular parking spaces, directly in front of where Mr. C.E.G. was standing. As the patron attempted to bring his vehicle to a complete stop inside of the parking space, his foot accidentally pressed on the vehicle’s accelerator, rather than its brake, causing it to quickly accelerate up over the curb, across the sidewalk, pinning Mr. C.E.G. against the 7-Eleven storefront. As a result of the crushing injuries caused by this impact, a bi-lateral, above the knee amputation of both Mr. C.E.G’s legs was necessitated.

Discovery in this case, spearheaded by Mr. Berns, led to the revelation of numerous facts that pointed directly to 7-Eleven’s culpability in this case. First, Defendant 7-Eleven sought to escape facing a jury in Cook County through a motion to transfer venue pursuant to the doctrine of forum non-conveniens, however, their motion was appropriately denied by the Honorable Judge Kevin Lee. Thereafter, Mr. Berns was able to secure an order from the Honorable Judge Ieshia Grey compelling 7-Eleven to produce 15 years of data (2003-2017) relating to storefront crashes at all 7-Eleven locations across the country. After years of substantial motion practice over the production of this data, Mr. Berns and the attorneys at Power Rogers, LLP were able to secure production of the complete data set under the cover of a protective order. That protective order was subsequently lifted by the Honorable Judge Mary Minella. The production of this data revealed that there have been over 6,253 storefront crashes at 7-Eleven stores across the country over that 15-year period, including a storefront crash that had occurred at this very same 7-Eleven just 16 months prior to the storefront crash that took Mr. C.E.G.’s legs. Had this case gone to trial, the jury would have been informed that a vehicle crashes into a 7-Eleven storefront somewhere in the United States occurs 1.14 times a day, every day. This means there is a storefront crash on average more than once a day at a 7-Eleven Store causing property damage or injury. Additional data, obtained by Plaintiff’s expert, Robert Reiter, from a prior case against 7-Eleven, established an additional 1,581 storefront crashes at 7-Eleven’s across the country over the 5-year period covering the years 1991-1996. Accordingly, Plaintiff would have established that there had been 7,525 storefront crashes at the over 8,000 7-Eleven stores across the country for the period that data is available. Mr. Reiter can be reached at (909) 964-2906. This evidence, coupled with the fact that 7-Eleven’s own expert witness, Dr. Duane Steffey of Exponent, supplied data that revealed that 15.11 people are killed or suffer a serious “incapacitating injury” in storefront crashes every month, and that this rate of serious injury or death in storefront crashes would continue unless and until something was done, such as the implementation of angular parking and/or the installation of bollards. These facts, in addition to the fact that 7-Eleven has taken no action to protect their customers, employees and other pedestrians lawfully on their property led the Honorable Judge Preston Jones to grant Plaintiff’s request he be allowed to seek punitive damages from the jury. Beyond allowing Plaintiff to seek punitive damages, Judge Jones correctly ruled that 7-Eleven had a duty to install bollards for the protection of individuals on its’ property in denying the Defendant’s motion for summary judgment.

During arguments on pre-trial motions before Judge Mary Minella, Defendant 7-Eleven did all it could to shield itself from liability, including alleging that compliance with local zoning ordinances negated Plaintiff’s claims that they were negligent in failing to install bollards to prevent this type of incident; that Mr. C.E.G. was a trespasser and/or exceeded the scope of his invitation; and that the Plaintiff’s evidence of thousands of prior occurrences should be barred as 7-Eleven claimed that Plaintiff lacked sufficient foundation to establish that any of the prior incidents bore any similarity to the incident at issue in the case. The attorneys at Power Rogers, LLP, were able to successfully combat 7-Eleven’s claims with evidence that the zoning ordinances at issue were not put in place for the protection of a class of people to whom Mr. C.E.G. belonged; that Mr. C.E.G. was a habitual customer of the 7-Eleven and that his repeated use of the property over the course of two years rendered his status on the property as lawful; and, through the testimony and opinions of Defendant’s data scientist, Adam Berry, that there was sufficient foundation for finding that at least 6,253 of the prior occurrences were substantially similar such that this evidence could be used to establish not just notice of the generally hazardous nature of the site, but as evidence to show the existence of a particular danger or hazard, namely, 7-Eleven’s storefront parking design.

Following a recent $21 billion acquisition of rival Speedway in 2020, 7-Eleven added an additional 4,000 stores across the country. The Honorable William Gomolinski (ret.) of ADR systems, along with the Honorable Judge Mary Minella, assisted the parties in reaching the settlement agreement in this case.

Joe Power said, “As long as 7-Eleven refuses to place bollards in front of its stores to prevent these crashes, people will continue to be seriously injured or killed. Up until now, 7-Eleven has decided to place an ambulance at the bottom of the hill, rather than a fence at the top. This problem can no longer be ignored.”

Power Rogers, LLP is the premier Plaintiff’s personal injury litigation firm for catastrophic personal injury and medical malpractice cases in the State of Illinois, having secured over $5 billion in recoveries via settlement or trial since its inception. For 12 of the past 13 years, Power Rogers, LLP has found itself ranked #1 on the Jury Verdict Reporter’s annual settlement/verdict survey for total recoveries on behalf of their clients. In the past 20 years, the attorneys at Power Rogers, LLP, have secured over $1.1 billion more on behalf of their clients via verdict or settlement than even their closest competitors.

The Law Firm of Favil David Berns & Associates was founded in 1961 and has continuously and proudly served the western suburbs for over 50 years.

free case consultation

Fighting for justice,
fighting for change.


Contact Us

our office

Tel: 312-500-1792

70 West Madison Street
Suite 5500
Chicago, IL 60602

Get Directions