Transportation Practice | Experience
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Practices

Transportation

  • Midwest Integrated Companies v. MDOT et al.

    Jordan Tank and Alejandra Barcenas sought declaratory and injunctive relief on behalf of their client, Midwest Integrated Companies, LLC, which collects and recycles railroad ties for use as environmentally-friendly fuel in power plants. Midwest transported the fuel over the road under a special oversize/overweight permit issued by Minnesota. When the Minnesota Department of Transportation and Minnesota State Patrol unexpectedly decided that Midwest’s permit did not allow it to transport the fuel, their interpretation threatened both Midwest’s business and a critical source of fuel for Minnesota’s power plants. After Lipe Lyons filed suit and an accompanying memorandum explaining how the new interpretation was contrary to the statutory authority and legislative intent, Minnesota’s Attorney General quickly agreed to resolve the issue outside of court, and Midwest was able to resume supplying power plants with the fuel they need.

  • Estate of Petrella, et al. v. DND International, Inc., et al.

    Renato Velasquez was driving a flatbed truck when he fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into several vehicles that were stopped by the side of the road. The accident killed a tollway worker, set a police car on fire with the officer inside, causing burns to nearly half of his body, and injured another truck driver. All three filed lawsuits (which were consolidated) against Velasquez, his employer, and CRST, the broker that arranged for the shipment that Velasquez was making at the time of the accident. Lipe Lyons attorneys represented CRST and argued that it was not liable because Velasquez was not acting as its agent at the time of the accident. The plaintiffs demanded $55 million to settle. Shortly before trial all three cases settled for less than half of the plaintiffs’ initial demands.

  • Budget Truck Rental, LLC v. Latoya et al.

    Prosecuted a hard fraud lawsuit against individuals involved in organized crime ring who filed fraudulent personal injury and property damage claims which arose out of orchestrated “crash for cash” motor vehicle accidents. Worked with the Chicago Police Department and the FBI to investigate the members of the crime ring and show the connections between the illegal and the legal aspects of the conspiracy to defraud insurers. Once subpoenas for depositions were issued to the leaders of the conspiracy, the personal injury lawsuits were voluntarily dismissed.

  • In re Walters Bus accident

    Defended a repair shop against numerous consolidated lawsuits that arose out of a motor coach rollover accident in Arkansas that killed or seriously injured the bus’s driver and 28 passengers. The bus veered off of the highway while traveling between 60 and 70 miles per hour, fishtailed, and then rolled over one and a half times. The bus's roof ripped off and multiple passengers were ejected. The driver and 14 passengers died in the accident, and the other 14 remaining passengers were seriously injured. Several years before the accident, the bus had been stored in a warehouse that caught fire. The plaintiffs alleged the bus' structural integrity was weakened in the fire, and the repair shop failed to remedy the issue. Additionally, the plaintiffs alleged that the repair shop welded steel panels to the top of the bus that made it top-heavy and more prone to roll over. The repair shop argued that it repaired the bus in accordance with the instructions it was given by the insurance company that funded the repairs, and that the panels welded to the top of the bus did not weigh enough to raise its center of gravity. Before trial, the repair shop settled for a small fraction of the total amount paid by the other 12 defendants 

  • Harris v. Certco

    Defended a trucking company and its driver against a lawsuit that arose out of a rear-end motor vehicle collision on the freeway between a tractor-trailer and personal vehicle which resulted in catastrophic injuries to the driver of the personal vehicle, including paraplegia. Neither the plaintiff nor the driver of the tractor-trailer remembered the accident. After substantial fact discovery into the potential causes of the accident, the case settled for less than eight figures.

  • Estate of Swenson, et al. v. Adam Troy and Hussmann Corporation

    Troy was driving one of Hussmann’s commercial vehicles when he rear-ended a line of stopped vehicles at 57 mph during morning rush hour. Troy’s vehicle struck Aaron Swenson’s vehicle, pushing it forward into Joseph LeSanche’s vehicle. Good Samaritans tried to resuscitate Swenson but were unable; he died at the scene. One of the Good Samaritans called Aaron Swenson’s wife, who had just found out that she was pregnant and overheard the resuscitation efforts. She miscarried four weeks later and filed suit for the wrongful death of her husband and unborn child. LeSanche filed suit for his own personal injuries and the cases were consolidated. Troy was charged with multiple counts of driving under the influence and he entered a plea of not guilty. At trial, the plaintiffs sought compensatory and punitive damages. Hussmann admitted that it was vicariously liable for Troy’s negligence, and both of the defendants admitted that Troy’s negligence caused Aaron Swenson’s death and LeSanche’s personal injuries. However, Troy and Hussmann denied that Troy’s conduct was willful and wanton and that the plaintiffs were entitled to punitive damages. Before trial the plaintiffs demanded $26 million to settle. During the two week trial Troy invoked the Fifth Amendment and the plaintiffs were not allowed to call him to testify as an adverse witness, but the jury was instructed that it could draw an adverse inference from his silence. After the trial the jury awarded Swenson $22.7 million and LeSanche $12.4 million but the trial court remitted the verdicts to $12.7 million and $7.4 million after granting the defendants’ post-trial motion, which argued that numerous evidentiary and instructional errors caused the jury to award excessive verdicts based on sympathy. The defendants then settled with Swenson for less than the remitted amount of the verdict, and appealed the LeSanche verdict.

  • Angelo v. Johnson

    Circuit Court of DuPage County, IL.  Achieved defense verdict finding no liability in lawsuit arising from a motor vehicle accident.  Plaintiff claimed severe internal injuries with resulting spleenectomy.

  • Jeffrey Angelos v. TruGreen

    Norfolk Superior Court, Dedham, MA.  Achieved favorable verdict for defendant TruGreen in lawsuit arising from trucking accident. TruGreen admitted liability; plaintiff received nuisance value award at trial on damages.

  • Barton v. Metra and Chicago and North Western Railroad Co.,

    Circuit Court of Cook County, IL.  Represented railroad and local transportation agency defendants in highly publicized trial involving noted violinist Rachel Barton.  While disembarking from a Metra commuter trial, Barton was dragged 360 feet by the train and run over by its wheels.  She sustained traumatic amputation of one leg and degloving injury and partial amputation of the other leg.

  • Berkenstock v. Terminix

    Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia, PA.  Achieved defense verdict in favor of Terminix in lawsuit arising out of trucking accident.  Plaintiff claimed severe spinal/nervous system injuries.

  • Marilyn Bryan v. Terminix

    District Court of Sedgwick County, KS.  Achieved favorable verdict for Terminix in lawsuit arising from motor vehicle accident.  Plaintiff claimed severe spinal injuries.  Plaintiff received nuisance value award, which was reduced by 45 percent of plaintiff’s contributory fault.

  • Cairns v. Ty Walk Liquid Sales, Inc. and Elam v. Ty Walk Liquid Sales, Inc.

    Circuit Court of Will County, IL.  Achieved verdict for defendants, a trucking company and tractor-trailer driver, in consolidated wrongful death lawsuits of driver and passenger in a vehicular accident.  Plaintiffs asked jury for $10.5 million in damages.  Accident occurred on narrow, two-lane road during rain when defendant, who had been following decedents for several miles as they drove erratically, attempted to pass decedents, who turned left in front of defendant onto farm access road.

  • Choe v. TruGreen Landcare LLC

    Superior Court of California, County of Orange.  Achieved directed verdict in favor of TruGreen in lawsuit arising from bicycle/truck accident.

  • Estate of Tracy Ecklund v. Jevic Transportation

    U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois. Successfully resolved wrongful death and personal injury lawsuit against trucking company brought in state and federal courts. Case arose out of 11-vehicle accident that occurred when the defendant truck driver failed to stop for a red light at an intersection; defendant admitted liability. Jury awarded plaintiff $1 million in damages, an amount equal to the defendant’s pre-trial offer. The pre-trial settlement demand was $10 million.

  • Fernando Gomez v. Schmitt

    Circuit Court of DuPage County, IL.  Achieved favorable defense verdict for Schmitt in lawsuit arising from motor vehicle accident in which plaintiff claimed head/brain injuries.

  • Thomas Guarnieri v. Scenic Trails Bus Transportation Company

    Circuit Court of Cook County, IL.  Achieved favorable verdict for Scenic Trails in personal injury lawsuit arising from bus accident.  Plaintiff, commodity broker, sought damages for severe spinal injury/surgeries and loss of seven-figure income and his future earning capacity.  Jury awarded plaintiff $42,500, which was reduced by 75 percent for plaintiff’s contributory fault.  Decision affirmed on appeal by both Illinois Appellate Court and Illinois Supreme Court.  274 Ill.App.3d 1099, cert. denied 165 Ill.2d 550.

  • Palka v. Pontarelli Group Charters, et al.

    Circuit Court of Cook County, IL.  Achieved settlement for defendant bus manufacturer in highly-publicized wrongful death lawsuit for pedestrian struck by its bus that was loaned to defendant transportation company.  Transportation company's bus driver struck and killed pedestrian in crosswalk and while driver had cocaine in his system.  Bus manufacturer's liability arose solely from the display of its DOT placard, or logo, on the side of the accident bus. Plaintiffs demanded $16 million in damages.

  • Estate of Phillipart v. Archer Daniels Midland

    Sangamon County, IL. Nuisance/vehicular traffic. Client: defendant Archer Daniels Midland Company. Wrongful death/personal injury of 18 year old French foreign exchange student who survived in a coma for 1-1/2 years after the accident. Verdict for plaintiff for $550,000. Reversed by Illinois Supreme Court with judgment entered for defendant without remand; First Springfield Bank & Trust v. Galmon, 188 Ill.2d 252, 720 N.E.2d 1068 (1999).

  • Timothy Williams v. Zurich and Terminix

    In the Circuit Court, 4th Judicial Circuit in and for Duval County, FL.  Achieved favorable verdict for defendants Zurich and Terminix in bad faith insurance lawsuit arising out of motor vehicle accident.  Plaintiff received nuisance value award.

  • Waller v. Bagga

    219 Ill.App.3d 542, 579 N.E.2d 1073 (1st Dist. 1991). Affirmed successful defense verdict for minimal damages in automobile accident case in which plaintiff claimed permanent disability and loss of income from back injury.

  • Estate of William v. Monkus deceased v. Canteen Corp

    Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. Achieved a not guilty verdict. This was a six vehicle collision across all three lanes of westbound Interstate 290 near St. Charles Road in Elmhurst, Illinois.

  • Albert Freeman v. John Lawlor

    Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. Obtained a not guilty verdict where plaintiff pedestrian was hit by defendant’s vehicle while crossing 87th Street in Oak Lawn. Plaintiff suffered a right tibiofibular fracture and lost vision in his right eye. Plaintiff asked jury for $883,019.

  • Estate of Yvonne Jones, deceased minor v. Rediehs Express, Inc.

    Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. Plaintiff sustained fatal head injuries when she was hit and dragged 134 feet by a Rediehs Express semi-tractor trailer. Verdict was $1.3 million reduced by 50%. Plaintiff asked jury for $6,000,000.

  • Tiffany Rambow, et al. v. Harold Ives Trucking Co.

    U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois. Truck tractor pulled into an intersection in front of plaintiff’s vehicle. Plaintiff sustained fracture right femur with open reduction, rod insertion, rod removal one year later and residual scarring. Verdict was $329,771. Plaintiff’s last demand was $600,000.

  • J.B. Reese v. Trans-States Express

    Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. Plaintiff was rear-ended as he was stopped in traffic, which produced negligible property damage. Later was treated for neck pain and released, however alleges that the incident caused C6-C7 herniation, anterolisthesis at C7-T1, a torn right rotator cuff and aggravated pre-existing L5-S1 degenerative disc disease. Defendant’s last offer was $100,000. The verdict was $96,050.

  • Vibin v. Paper Transport, et al.

    U.S.D.C., Northern District of IL:  Won a motion to quash a subpoena issued to a trucking company.  The subpoena sought information from the client which would form the basis of a claim against it in a case involving a double fatality.  In successfully quashing the subpoena, plaintiff was unable to obtain the information necessary to bring suit against our client.  To date, the client has not been named as a defendant in the action.