Jury Awards Compensation for Injuries Caused by Drunk Driver

A twenty-nine year old man from Chicago has been awarded $2.4 million in compensation for injuries caused by a drunk driver after a hearing at Cook County Court.

Stephen Dewart was distributing fliers for his wife’s wedding consulting business when, in May 2011, a Streets & Sanitation worker lost control of his truck and drove it onto the sidewalk – striking Stephen and six other pedestrians on the corner of Rush and Cedar by the Near North Side in Chicago.

Stephen suffered multiple serious injuries as a result of the accident, including several fractures of his spine and a broken leg. Stephen had a metal rod inserted into his leg, underwent two addition surgeries to try to repair the damage to his leg and required months of rehabilitation following the accident in order to learn how to walk again.

The driver of the truck – Dwight Washington – was found by police to have a blood-alcohol content more than twice the legal limit and an opened bottle of brandy was discovered in the cab of his truck. Washington was charged with drink-driving and is now serving a prison sentence.

Stephen sought legal advice and made a compensation claim for injuries caused by a drunk driver against Dwight Washington and the City of Chicago, on the basis that Washington was a city-employee at the time of the accident and that the City of Chicago was liable for his actions.

Liability for Stephen´s injuries was admitted by the City of Chicago before the scheduled trial began, and consequently the jury was told that the hearing was now for the assessment of damages only. After hearing the circumstances of the accident and the injuries that Stephen had received, the jury awarded €2.4 million to Stephen in compensation for injuries caused by a drunk driver.