CHICAGO — A week into a trial against a trucking firm blamed for an accident that left a young woman permanently disabled, the woman, who was struck by a truck and dragged 60 feet in Chicago, will receive $35 million from a settlement to end her legal action, reportedly an Illinois record for an accident involving a pedestrian.
The settlement in the case of Caelen M. Peshek was finalized in late February, according to the plaintiff's attorneys. The settlement was made with Hub Group Trucking of Oak Brook and truck driver Said Mohamed Shire.
It was "settled seven days into trial before Cook County Circuit Court Judge Thomas J. Lipscomb at the Daley Center," the plaintiff attorneys from the Clifford Law Offices, said in a statement.
Defense lawyers from the firms of Johnson & Bell and Hinshaw & Culbertson would not comment on the outcome of the case, the former unable to do so immediately, the latter not responding to a request by the Cook County Record.
Peshek, now 24, suffered severe injuries after a truck ran her over and dragged her 60 feet.
Clifford Law Offices said it is a record in the "state of Illinois for any verdict or settlement involving a pedestrian," adding that the previous high was $29.1 million for a child who had lost both legs in 1992.
The young woman suffered multiple pelvic injures and her skin was completely torn off in places during the incident, which happened at the corner of South Ashland and West Roosevelt near the University of Illinois at Chicago in September 2015.
According to Clifford Law Offices, witnesses testified Peshek has permanent disabilities, that will severely limit her ability to work for the rest of her life.
"This case is such a sad story for a young woman who was so athletic and had her entire life in front of her," attorney Bob Clifford said in the statement. "Instead, now it is a life filled with limitations, pain and suffering. Truck drivers need to be aware of their surroundings, how to properly and safely operate a truck because it can change the life of someone forever in just an instant."
An estimated 3,000 pedestrians are struck by motor vehicles in Chicago every year, some 500 are seriously injured and between 30 and 55 will die from their injuries, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.