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Eva Marsalkova v. Chicago Transit Authority and Ishmael Adams

Case Conclusion Date: 07.19.2004

Practice Area: Personal injury

Outcome: After a five-day trial, the jury returned a $264,131.00 verdict in favor of Plaintiff.

Description: Michael Agruss represented Plaintiff. On November 18, 1999, Plaintiff, who had recently arrived in the United States from the Czech Republic, was riding a bicycle to work as a housekeeper for Mighty Maids. Plaintiff claimed she was traveling eastbound on Diversey just past the intersection of Pulaski when her bike was struck from behind by a CTA bus driven by Defendant, Adams. Plaintiff was knocked off of her bike, after which both the front and rear passenger side tires of the bus ran over her bicycle, and the bus’s front passenger side tire ran over Plaintiff’s right leg. Plaintiff sustained a Grade III open communicated fracture of the right tibia, requiring external fixation with a later bone graft, resulting in a 1.25-inch leg length discrepancy. Defense denied Plaintiff was riding eastbound. Another CTA driver of a northbound bus stopped at the intersection testified that Plaintiff was riding northbound on the sidewalk on the east side of Pulaski and that Plaintiff rode into the side of the bus while it was stopped to pick up passengers. Defense argued there was no physical evidence of damage to the rear of the bicycle, or injury to Plaintiff’s helmetless head, to support her contention of a rear-end impact. The CTA failed to produce 3 completed courtesy cards from the occurrence witnesses and the trial judge gave the 5.01 instruction. Defense also disputed the extent of Plaintiff’s injuries, and contended Plaintiff’s surgeon found no leg length discrepancy 17 months postoperative. Defense also argued that Plaintiff only had residual discomfort, and at trial, Defendant showed a video of Plaintiff rollerblading in a park.

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