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Man killed by train can be sued over bystander's injuries An…

11:09 am - 12/29/2011
Man killed by train can be sued over bystander's injuries
An appeals court rules that Hiroyuki Joho, who was killed at a Chicago Metra station, can be held responsible after a portion of his body struck a woman on the platform.

Calling it a "tragically bizarre" case, an Illinois appeals court has ruled that a man killed by a train while crossing the tracks at a Chicago Metra station can be held responsible after part of his body struck and injured a bystander.

In 2008, Hiroyuki Joho, 18, was hurrying in the pouring rain with an umbrella over his head, trying to catch a Metra train, when he was struck by an Amtrak train traveling at more than 70 mph.

Several witnesses said he was smiling as the train hit him.

A large portion of his body flew about 100 feet onto the southbound platform, where it struck Gayane Zokhrabov, then 58. She was knocked to the ground, her leg and wrist broken and her shoulder injured.

A Cook County judge dismissed Zokhrabov's lawsuit against Joho's estate, finding that Joho could not have anticipated Zokhrabov's injuries.

But the appellate court disagreed. After noting that the case law involving "flying bodies" is sparse, it ruled that "it was reasonably foreseeable" that the high-speed train would kill Joho and fling his body toward a platform where people were waiting.

Leslie Rosen, who handled Zokhrabov's appeal, said although the circumstances were "very peculiar and gory and creepy," it was a straightforward negligence case, no different than if a train passenger had been injured after the engineer hit the brakes.

"If you do something as stupid as this guy did, you have to be responsible for what comes from it," she said.

maladaptive 29th-Dec-2011 05:34 pm (UTC)
You don't sue the insurance company directly in the US system. You sue the party in question, and generally the insurance company provides a lawyer and pays them after the suit.
benihime99 29th-Dec-2011 05:36 pm (UTC)
I see. Thx
lozbabie 30th-Dec-2011 08:07 am (UTC)
It's the same in Australia. If there's a dispute you sue the person and then the insurance company defends it.
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