On September 23, 2021, a Will County jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant, following a two-day jury trial before Judge Susan O’Leary.
The plaintiff introduced $74K in medical specials (arthroscopic shoulder surgery) and made a demand for the $100K policy limit, which was withdrawn before trial. The insurance company made no offer due to minimal impact forces and a four-month gap before start of treatment.
The case arose out of a collision as plaintiff was exiting the parking lot on the north end of the Hillcrest Shopping Center in Crest Hill, Illinois on October 14, 2016. Plaintiff testified he stopped in the exit lane with his right turn signal activated. When he attempted to make a right turn onto Route 30, his car collided with defendant’s pickup truck, which had pulled up to his right and was also turning right. Plaintiff maintained the exit was intended for only one vehicle lane, despite undisputed testimony that the exit driveway apron was twenty-two feet wide and therefore had enough space for two vehicles to fit side by side. The defendant contended plaintiff’s turn signal was not activated and believed the plaintiff was planning to turn left, as there was plenty of room for his full-size pickup to stop on the right side of plaintiff’s car. Plaintiff admitted he never looked back to his right before beginning his turn.
The defense stipulated to the reasonableness of plaintiff’s medical expenses but denied proximate causation from this low-speed impact. The defense argued plaintiff’s shoulder impingement was due to degeneration and not any trauma from the collision. MRIs showed identical degeneration in both shoulders and plaintiff did not seek medical care until more than four months later. Plaintiff declined to try conservative treatment (PT, medication, injections) before undergoing surgery.
The jury deliberated approximately two hours.