After a video surfaced showing a Chicago Transit Authority bus hitting an 80-year-old man, the CTA settled a lawsuit brought on by the victim for $3 million. Raymond Baroud’s spent days in a coma after the incident, and his left leg had to be amputated above the knee.
A Cook County judge approved the settlement Wednesday, April 23, 2020, after Baroud’s attorney argued that he was going to need the money because he could no longer live independently due to the actions of the CTA bus driver.
Bus Driver Negligence
CTA’s attorney countered saying that in November of 2018, the man was walking outside a crosswalk and was in the blindspot of the bus driver. Baroud’s attorney said the video clearly shows that his client can be seen in the daylight and that the driver could and should have avoided hitting him.
Baroud’s attorney was prepared to present several videos that captured the accident from all angles and showed the bus turning and then hitting the man who fell under the bus’ tire.
If the case went to trial, Baroud would have to prove that the bus driver acted carelessly and failed in his duty to keep others, including the victim, safe. The law also allows as a defense that the victim was to blame for walking out in the street in the first place, or that the man was in the driver’s blind spot.
Since the case settled, we’ll never know if a jury would have agreed with Baroud. The case was mediated by a third party, and the bus driver was able to keep his job, although he won’t be driving buses. The $3 million represents almost 20% of all settlements paid out by the CTA for a two-year period leading up to the day of the accident.
During that time, the CTA reported that 550 bus riders were injured in 500 crashes. There were also 250 bus drivers injured 200 motor vehicle drivers and 75 pedestrians and cyclists.