CHICAGO — On April 8, 2020, Cavanagh Law Group partners Tim Cavanagh and Mike Sorich obtained a $3 million settlement for a pedestrian who was seriously injured when he was struck by a Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus in 2018.
Raymond Baroud, 80, was crossing Madison Street near its intersection with Pulaski Road on Nov. 16, 2018, when he was hit by a CTA bus making a right turn. Although Baroud was not in the crosswalk, the contact was avoidable because he was clearly visible during the daylight incident, a lawsuit filed by Cavanagh Law Group alleged.
The firm was hired by Baroud’s family within days of the incident while Baroud was still in a coma and fighting for his life at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County.
This was significant because CTA investigators had taken statements from alleged witnesses who claimed Baroud was at fault. Unbeknownst to Baroud’s family, the incident was captured on multiple surveillance cameras, including those on the subject CTA bus, those on a CTA bus parked to the east at the curb and those at a grocery store across the street.
Cavanagh Law Group immediately filed a lawsuit and sought a hearing before the Hon. Kathy M. Flanagan to secure possession of the surveillance videos. The CTA objected to immediately producing its surveillance videos and claimed Baroud was at fault. Flanagan ordered the production of the videos.
Surveillance footage taken from both CTA buses and the nearby grocery store refuted the CTA’s argument that its driver was not at fault. Nonetheless, the CTA’s lawyers continued to argue the bus driver couldn’t see Baroud due to a blind spot on the bus. Cavanagh Law Group retained a bus operations expert and accident reconstruction specialist to prove Baroud was visible.
As a result of the incident, Baroud’s left leg was amputated above the knee. He now resides in an assisted living facility in Wheeling, Ill.
“Our client can no longer live independently as a result of the CTA bus driver’s negligence,” Cavanagh said. “Through expert testimony, a meticulous accident reconstruction and surveillance video, we proved the driver was not paying attention when he turned the corner. Thankfully, the family hired us immediately following the incident so we could secure this critical evidence and hire the appropriate experts.”
Cavanagh Law Group associate Patrick Richel assisted in the case, which was set for trial on March 23, 2020. A settlement was approved by the Chicago Transit Board on April 8 and received final approval from a Cook County probate judge on April 22.
The Hon. Kathy M. Flanagan, Chief Motion Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, presided in the case of Raymond Baroud vs. Chicago Transit Authority, et. al. Case No. 18-L-012694.
Warning: Graphic video. The following footage, taken from a departing CTA bus, captured the November 2018 incident. Baroud can be seen in the top left corner.