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Illinois Court of Appeals Allows Case to Go Forward after Detached Flying Body Parts Injured a Bystander

Illinois personal injury lawsuits aren’t always pretty.

Recently MSNBC posted an article detailing two interrelated lawsuits that would have any Chicago personal injury attorney scratching his or her head. According to MSNBC, a State Appeals Court for Illinois disagreed with a Cook County Judge’s ruling that a case cannot move forward in a situation where a man’s detatched body parts struck and injured an innocent bystander after the man was hit and killed by a train.

The lawsuit arose when the female bystander sued the estate of the man, claiming that she was hit by his flying body parts, and as a result, sustained a broken leg, broken wrist, and shoulder injury. The situation arose from a tragic turn of events that occurred at the Edgebrook, Illinois Metra Station; the Chicago Tribune reported that the man was shielding himself from pouring rain with an umbrella over his head and was hurrying to catch an inbound train when a southbound Amtrak train going more than 70 miles per hour struck him.

The force of being hit by the train sent part of the man’s body flying more than 100 feet, striking the female victim, who was waiting for a train on the southbound train platform.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the decedent’s family sued Metra and Canadian Pacific Railway, claiming that they were negligent by not announcing a Metra delay, which led to the man’s accident when he mistook which train was his.

The walloped bystander has in turn sued the man’s estate. Though a Cook County Judge initially ruled that the deceased man could not have anticipated the injuries his body parts would cause to the woman, an Illinois State Court of Appeals disagreed, stating that it was “reasonably foreseeable” that the high-speed train would kill the man and send his body flying in the direction of people waiting on the platform, reported the Chicago Tribune. Because of the man’s carelessness and negligence (which also caused his death), the woman’s attorneys are arguing, the injuries caused by his flung body parts were a direct result of his actions.

The Chicago Tribune cited a number of other cases, including a case from 1951, in which a postal worker won a personal injury lawsuit in Illinois after having been hit by the body of an elderly woman who was struck by a train.

This particular case also reminds us that Chicago personal injury law isn’t always pretty – or clear cut – but our attorneys have the experience and understanding to handle even the most complex cases.