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The Chicago Transit Authority and Recent Jury Decisions


On the morning of March 24th, 2014, a train from the CTA blue line derailed onto the platform and up an escalator at the O’Hare International Airport. As a result of the crash, 32 people traveling that morning were injured. The train operator at the time of the accident, admitted to dozing off moments before the crash. This would be the second time the operator would claim to have fallen asleep while operating a train, as she would be fired 11 days after the latest incident. So far, eight law suits have been filed against the transit agency for this very case.

When a lawsuit is brought up and taken to trial, the jury has a very important role in the decision of the case and its monetary value. That is why the jury deliberation process is so vital to our judicial system. Making sure the jury has all the facts and can understand what is going on will enable them to make a fair and just decision.

Most jurors are able to take notes during trial to help them remember each and every detail pertaining to the case. Once deliberations start, jurors come together and sort through all their notes and the trial exhibits so each juror feels as though they have a good handle on what happened the day of the accident.

During trial, the judge will read out the jury instructions. These instructions inform jurors on how deliberations should be handled and explain the laws that are related to the case. The most important detail, however, is explaining to jurors that their decision must come solely from the law itself, even if they don’t happen to agree with it personally. If the jury finds a Defendant negligent, the jury must work together to come up with an award in calculating medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of normal enjoyment of life, future medical, and disfigurement.

On March 24, 2014, Yolanda Montes, 37, was headed into work on the sixth car of that very train when the crash occurred. The impact of the derailment caused Montes to suffer a blow to the head from one of the poles that was inside the car, causing injuries to the head, neck and back. Montes then filed a lawsuit on April 29th, 2014, and was awarded $6,654,000 this week by a Cook County jury. CTA has since adopted and implanted new changes in the scheduling of all rail operators to make sure something like this never happens again.

This kind of case shows just how much influence a jury has and, unfortunately, injuries like this happen all the time. We rely on the jury system to fairly compensate injury and accident victims. Sherwood Law Group specializes in personal injury and work accident cases. Sherwood Law Group offers free consultations for any personal injury and work accident case. Our attorneys here will be able to thoroughly evaluate your case and get you the money, settlement, verdict and award that you rightfully deserve.
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