CHICAGO — Cavanagh Law Group partners Tim Cavanagh and Michael Sorich obtained a $2.4 million settlement on behalf of a woman who was severely injured after being hit by a car in a store parking lot in Pennsylvania.
Ana Villar, 81, was walking through a grocery store parking lot about 11:30 a.m. Feb. 26, 2018, when a Volvo driver abruptly backed into Villar, knocking her to the ground.
Villar hit her head and sustained a compression skull fracture, a fractured orbital socket, facial fractures, sinus fractures, a nasal fracture, intracerebral hemorrhages, contusions, bruises and abrasions. She was hospitalized for several weeks and now lives in an assisted living facility.
“Our client is no longer able to live independently,” Cavanagh said. “Her life has been deeply affected because the driver in this case failed to exercise due care and caution.”
The case settled for $2.4 million on Oct. 12, 2019, one week before it was set to go to trial in a Pennsylvania courtroom.
In surveillance video obtained by Cavanagh Law Group, Villar can be seen walking behind the Volvo, which then quickly accelerates and knocks Villar to the ground. A grocery store employee points and runs toward the rear of the car.
“If the driver had been paying attention, she would have seen our client in the rearview camera,” Sorich said. “We hired a computer simulation expert to recreate the incident and retained the best accident reconstruction expert in the country to investigate. That expert was prepared to testify that Villar was visible had the driver looked before backing.”
Cavanagh and Sorich obtained expert reports from a neurologist, life care planner and economist, among others. The firm also was prepared to present accounts from eyewitnesses, paramedics and friends of Villar who noticed changes after the incident.
In a lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania, Cavanagh Law Group said the driver acted negligently and recklessly because she failed to clear her mirrors, failed to maintain proper and adequate control of her vehicle, failed to remain alert, traveled at an excessive speed under the circumstances and displayed no regard for the safety of other people in the parking lot.
The driver, her insurance company and the name of the venue are not being named due to a confidentiality agreement that prohibits disclosure of those terms.