Mitkal v. Tonk

Mitkal v. Tonk, 09 L 5271
Verdict: Not Guilty
Trial Date: March 7-13, 2014

This case was tried in Illinois using Indiana law. An accident consisting of a series of collisions separated by two minutes and involving four vehicles on Interstate 65 during snowfall and slick roadway conditions caused severe injuries to Plaintiff. Plaintiff, an off duty Chicago Police Officer, exited his vehicle after the first collision to assist other motorists when the subsequent collisions occurred that culminated in a double-trailer UPS truck striking the Plaintiff’s vehicle on the shoulder of the expressway. Plaintiff’s vehicle then struck the Plaintiff, who was standing next to his vehicle when the UPS truck hit it, throwing him 25 feet and onto Interstate 65. Plaintiff suffered a shattered left hip that was surgically repaired using over 20 screws and multiple plates, but had to be completely replaced four months later. Defendant was involved in a collision with the UPS truck prior to it striking the Plaintiff’s vehicle. Plaintiff claimed that Defendant cut off the UPS truck and caused the accident that shattered Plaintiff’s left hip, which necessitated medical treatment costing over $220,000 and lost time from work valued at over $125,000. Plaintiff’s spouse included a loss of consortium claim. Mr. Olson presented evidence to show that Defendant was traveling at a safe speed, made a safe lane change, and did not cut off the UPS truck that struck her, seconds after she changed lanes, prior to striking the Plaintiff’s vehicle. Combined, Plaintiffs requested $1 million. The jury deliberated for less than an hour prior to returning the verdict.