CHICAGO CODE OF SILENCE ATTORNEYS
Protecting rights. Fighting for justice.
Police officers are not above the law. That’s the message Cavanagh Law Group sent the Chicago Police Department in 2018 when the firm reached a landmark $20 million settlement in a high-profile “code of silence” case. Two men were killed in 2009 when a drunken off-duty Chicago police detective slammed into their car on the Dan Ryan Expy. in Chicago. The detective had a long history of alcohol-related offenses, including two previous car crashes. But because those events never led to serious consequences, Det. Joseph Frugoli believed he could drink and drive without fear of repercussions.
Cavanagh Law Group’s case not only represents a major victory for those who have experienced loss because of injustices stemming from the Chicago Police Department, but symbolizes both an acknowledgment of, and a refusal to enable, the department’s infamous “code of silence” in protecting officers accused of wrongdoing. The case encapsulates a sea change in how liability cases are handled for all those who wear the Chicago police uniform — whether on or off duty. No longer are the actions of an off-duty officer of no concern to the city. Today, victims’ families can seek justice and win.
Our firm represented the family of Andrew Cazares, one of the two men killed in the April 2009 crash. His family and the family of fellow victim Fausto Manzer split the $20 million settlement equally. READ MORE
The monumental case signifies a growing movement behind exposing and dismantling the “code of silence” that for far too long has silenced victims and justice while shielding bad police officers.
In 2018, Cavanagh Law Group filed a “code of silence” lawsuit against Eric Elkins, who was an off-duty Chicago police sergeant on Sept. 29, 2018, when he viciously beat two men outside a North Side nightclub. Elkins has since been criminally charged in the case and resigned from the Chicago Police Department. Despite a checkered past and criminal history, Elkins was still on the force at the time of the violent attack. He had long been protected by the city’s “code of silence” and felt emboldened to act without fear of consequences. The lawsuit is pending in the Circuit Court of Cook County.
About Cavanagh Law Group
Cavanagh Law Group has obtained more than $650 million in verdicts and settlements in Illinois and across the United States. Our veteran trial attorneys are aggressive advocates who practice every facet of personal injury law and take on cases of all sizes. We operate on a contingency basis, meaning you don’t pay anything unless we win. At Cavanagh Law Group, we pride ourselves on attentive customer service and being there for families in their times of need. Our well respected, award-winning attorneys are available 24/7 for your questions and concerns. To schedule a free case evaluation, call 312-425-1900.
Frequently Asked Questions
Call the police immediately and file a police report. Even if the damage was minor, it is essential to document what happened with a law enforcement agency. Take photos at the scene.
Never admit fault. Your testimony could be used against you at a later date. While you are required to speak to police, there is no obligation to talk to another person’s attorney or insurance company. Avoid providing written or oral statements.
Report the accident to your own insurance company as soon as possible — but don’t admit fault. Many insurance companies have rules requiring policyholders to report crashes within a certain timeframe. Check your policy to ensure you don’t miss any deadlines.
Visit a doctor as soon as possible after the crash. Whether you’re filing an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit, it is imperative that a medical professional documents your injuries.
Hire an attorney. Cavanagh Law Group’s team of veteran trial attorneys will help you obtain maximum benefits through meticulous research, proven strategy and expert testimony.
Yes. Illinois has comparative negligence laws, which allow injured parties to have some degree of fault in an accident and still recover reduced damages. The amount of money recovered may be proportional to the degree to which a person is at fault. Insurance companies make determinations following interviews with witnesses and involved parties and a thorough review of the accident report.
Under Illinois law, people have two years from the date of an accident to file a lawsuit in civil court. That timeframe drops to one year if the claim is against a municipal government, such as a city or county.