$26 Million Verdict Upheld in Taxicab Car Crash
A divided state appeals court has upheld a $26 million jury verdict awarded to a Chicago lawyer injured in a 2005 taxicab crash near Hinsdale, saying the Yellow Cab taxi affiliation must pay out for the accident because the injured passenger believed Yellow Cab was the driver’s “apparent agent,” even though Yellow Cab did not employ the driver and a Cook County trial judge refused to let YCA show the jury key evidence on how extensively all cabs are controlled by Chicago City Hall.
This is an interesting set of facts, although a tragic injury, because Uber operates on the same “independent contractor” platform. When an Uber driver causes or is involved in an accident, insurers will surely point fingers, but not at themselves.
On March 16, a three-justice panel of the Illinois First District Appellate Court ruled 2-1 to let stand the verdict in favor of plaintiff Marc Jacobs, as the majority said they did not believe YCA had demonstrated Cook County Judge Daniel J. Lynch had abused his discretion in limiting what YCA could tell the jury about the impact of city regulation on the appearance of its cabs, and the misunderstanding this can create in the minds of passengers and the public as to who the otherwise independent cab drivers actually work for.
The case centered on an Aug. 31, 2005, single-vehicle crash off the Interstate 294 exit ramp leading to Hinsdale, involving a Yellow-branded taxi driven by Cornelius C. Ezeagu.
Jacobs had entered the cab at a taxi stand in Chicago’s River North neighborhood, across from a restaurant at E. Grand Ave. and N. Rush Street where Jacobs had been dining with a “longtime client.” After his client left in her private car, Jacobs asked Ezeagu to take him home to Hinsdale.
On the exit ramp from I-294, however, Ezeagu’s minivan left the curved ramp, “went airborne for 32 feet, struck the ground and continued forward over a grassy drainage area, and then crashed into a concrete retention wall,” according to court documents. Read entire story HERE.
Best plan? But uninsured/underinsured motorist’s coverage, and perhaps an umbrella policy. Have health insurance. And, if something happens contact the InjuredGo.com Law Firm at (225) 933-1500. We want to help.