For Immediate Release
Contact: Attorney Fred Pritzker
Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman of PritzkerOlsen, P.A. obtained a significant verdict from a Hennepin County, MN, jury on April 14, 2011 in a tragic bicycle accident wrongful death case. 53-year old bicyclist Julie Casey was killed on August 15, 2008 when she was run over by the rear wheels of the trailer of a right-turning tractor-trailer at a busy intersection. The consensus of the investigating police officers had been that Ms. Casey should have seen the truck and that the accident occurred because Ms. Casey was unable to remove her feet from her new clipless bicycle pedals.
PritzkerOlsen’s investigation of the case revealed, however, that the accident had not occurred as the truck driver had initially claimed. After obtaining the truck driver’s logbooks, Pritzker and Hageman were able to determine that there were numerous falsifications, which should have caused the driver to be out of service at the time of the accident. The falsifications in the logbook, which cast doubt on the truck driver’s account of the accident, were compounded when he repeated them under oath at his deposition. Moreover, the deposition revealed that the truck driver had failed to monitor his right outside mirrors during his turn, which is crucial due to the significant “off-tracking” which occurs. This failure was compounded by the truck driver’s admission that he believed he was pulling a 48-foot trailer, as opposed to a 53-foot trailer.
“Never give up on a case without doing your own investigation,” Hageman said. “You can’t fully evaluate a case until you know all of the facts.”
At trial, the defense asserted that Ms. Casey was primarily at fault because she had fallen off her bike prior to getting run over, should have seen the semi and did not have the right-of-way. The jury disagreed. After an eight-day trial, the jury found 70% fault on the truck driver and 30% fault on Ms. Casey and awarded her heirs and next of kin $2,469,339 in damages.
“Our clients are extremely pleased with this result,” said Pritzker. “While no amount of money will ever make up for the terrible loss they have endured, they are thrilled that someone has been held accountable for Julie Casey’s death.”
Minneapolis bicycle accident attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman can be reached at 612-338-0202. PritzkerOlsen, P.A. is a Minneapolis, MN personal injury and wrongful death law firm that represents accident victims and their families throughout Minnesota, including in the following cities: Minnesota Cities: Twin Cities, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester, Duluth, Moorhead, Mankato, Brainerd, Bloomington, Eagan, Eden Prarie, Apple Valley, Maple Grove, Edina, Plymouth, Minnetonka, Stillwater, Thief River Falls, Bemidji, Grand Rapids, Austin, Worthington, Woodbury, Maplewood, Golden Valley, Shoreview, Blaine, Anoka, South St. Paul, White Bear Lake, Roseville, St. Cloud, Arden Hills, Brooklyn Park, Forest Lake.
Today another bicyclist has been killed by a commercial truck, a dump truck turning at a busy intersection in Minneapolis near the University of Minnesota. The facts are similar to those in a case we just won at trial. We represented the family of a bicyclist who was run over by the rear wheels of the trailer of a right-turning tractor-trailer at a busy intersection. As is often the case, the trucking company said the bicyclist was 100% at fault, but our independent investigation proved otherwise.
Our investigation of the bicycle accident found the following evidence:
- There were falsifications in the truck driver’s logbooks;
- The deposition revealed that the truck driver had failed to monitor his right outside mirrors during his turn; and
- The truck driver’s admitted that he believed he was pulling a 48-foot trailer, as opposed to a 53-foot trailer.
After listening to our evidence, the jury found the truck driver 70% at fault and awarded the family of the bicyclist $2,469,339 in damages. While no amount of money will ever make up for the terrible loss the family has endured, they are thrilled that someone has been held accountable.
In a lawsuit filed in King County Court, the plaintiff claims he suffered permanent spinal cord injuries when his REI bicycle “broke apart underneath him” as he rode it. According to the plaintiff, the 2006 Novara Team Trionfo triple-butted aluminum frame broke in three places1.
The complaint alleges that the design of the bike is defective because it should have been made with stronger materials.
In a case unrelated to this one, our lawyers have been contacted by a bicyclist who sustained injuries when his handles fell off. In both of these cases, there has not yet been a bicycle recall.
For obvious reasons, bicycle accidents often result in spinal cord injuries (SCI). Read about bicycle accident spinal cord injuries (SCI) and cervical fractures, including:
- C1, C2 and C3 Spinal Cord Injury: These spinal cord injuries result in quadriplegia and 24-hour-a-day care is needed;
- C4 Spinal Cord Injury: Victims are generally permanent quadriplegics;
- C5 Spinal Cord Injury: Arms have some sensory responses, but there is paralysis of the trunk and legs, and the wrists may be paralyzed;
- C6 Spinal Cord Injury: Victims are often permanent paraplegics with some loss of sensory response in the arms;
- C7-C8 Spinal Cord Injury: Chest muscles, at least some, are generally paralyzed, and there is still loss of bowel and bladder control.
Source: 1. http://www.courthousenews.com/2010/06/15/28074.htm
A $2.4 million dollar settlement has been reached in a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Menlo Park1:
Deborah Johnson, 54, was riding her bike with a friend on Sand Hill Road on a Sunday afternoon in July 2007 when she fell and struck her head. She was taken to Stanford University Medical Center, and pronounced dead two days later.
Her husband, John Gerrity, told The Daily News that Johnson’s friend saw her fall from her bike after hitting an object in the bike lane — the flat black octagonal rubber base of a “candlestick” delineator that had become separated from its plastic orange pole. The lane divider should never have been there in the first place, he said.
Mr. Gerrity is now advocating for safer bike lanes and strict adherence to state and federal regulations:
According to the federal Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, used by road managers nationwide, “posts or raised pavement markers should not be used to separate bicycle lanes from adjacent travel lanes.” The same notation is made in the state’s adaptation of the manual.
The underlying problem with this and hundreds of other accidents is inadequate and poorly enforced safety regulations for construction zones, particularly temporary work zones.
A bicyclist from Afton, Minnesota was hit and injured by a Jeep Wrangler in Star Prairie, Wisconsin on Saturday. The bicyclist, who was wearing a helmet, was hospitalized.
Head injury is the most common serious injury in bicycle crashes with motor vehicles. Head injuries cause traumatic brain injury (TBI), a type of injury in which the victim does not always recover. Using a helmet while biking can prevent serious TBI; however, we have had clients that suffered serious TBI even though they were wearing a helmet.
Minnesota law does not require bicyclists to wear a helmet, but helmets can prevent serious injury and death. Your bicycle helmet should fit properly and be worn the correct way. For more information on fitting a helmet, go to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute or State Bicycle Advisory Committee website.
Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman are currently representing the family of a wife and mother who was killed by a semi trailer that ran into the woman while she was riding her bicycle. The woman was in the bike lane at the time of the accident. The semi trailer driver said he didn’t see her before he moved into the bike lane to make a turn.
Pritzker Olsen law firm has won millions for people injured in a semi truck accident and for the families of people killed by negligent semi trailer drivers, including several settlement amounts over $2 million dollars.
Other semi-trailer-bicycle accident examples include the following:
- Semi trailer ran through a stop sign;
- Semi traier failed to yield the right of way to the bicycle;
- Semi trailer driver swerved into the bike lane;
- Semi trailer driver was DUI (drunk truck driver) and hit bicyclist;
- Semi trailer driver fell asleep at the wheel;
- Semi trailer driver was speeding and ran over a cyclist;
- Semi trailer driver was talking on his or her cell phone, texting, eating, looking at a map or was otherwise distracted and lost control of the truck;
- Semi trailer hit a bike rider in a parking lot;
- Semi trailer backed over bicycle rider
- Semi-trailer-bicycle accident in a construction zone
For more information, please see our main website, www.pritzkerlaw.com:
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