A 57-year-old suburban Chicago man has won $91 million in settlement amount from the convenience store chain, 7-Eleven. The man, who wished to be identified as “Carl” lost both his legs after a car pinned him against the front of a 7-Eleven store in Bensenville, Illinois, Chicago. This is the largest pre-trial personal injury settlement in Illinois.
At the time of the accident in September 2017, the man was waiting outside the store for his carpool ride to a food processing unit. A motorist pulling into the store’s parking space pressed the car’s accelerator instead of the brake and the car lurched over a curb, across the sidewalk, and pinned Carl against the storefront. He was hospitalized for a month and the injuries made him a double amputee. He now uses prosthetic legs for walking. James Power, one of the attorneys representing Carl said, “He has been through a lot of pain.”
Others who represented Carl include Joseph Power Jr., Larry Rogers Jr., and Louis Berns. This was the first case in which attorneys were given access to around 15 years of storefront crash reports that identified about 6,253 storefront crashes across 7-Eleven stores nationwide. Information from an earlier lawsuit against the convenience store chain revealed that another 1,525 accidents happened between 1991 and 1996.
“The 2017 crash was one of thousands of similar incidents identified in discovery for the case — collisions that frequently resulted in crippling injuries. The crashes could have been prevented if 7-Elevens had installed bollards — thick posts anchored in the ground — between storefronts and parking spaces,” Power said.
The Storefront Safety Council reports that over 100 storefront incidents happen every day resulting in 16,000 injuries and 2,600 deaths annually. 7-Eleven operates about 8,000 stores across the country. A spokesperson said on its behalf, “The company was heartbroken by this tragedy and its thoughts were with the man and his family. It is important to note that this unfortunate accident was caused by a reckless driver who pled guilty, and this store followed all local building codes and ordinances.”