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Texting while driving results in $4.1 million settlement


On January 1, 2010, an Illinois law went into effect that bans texting while driving. The law recognizes the extreme hazard associated with using handheld devices while driving a vehicle. Illinois became the 19th state to ban texting while driving.

The attorneys at Cavanagh Law Group have prosecuted numerous cases where car crashes were caused by the driver using a cell phone, handheld device or Blackberry. In the Barnes v. Svec case, Dorothy Barnes was seriously injured when her car was struck by a truck. Dorothy sustained devastating orthopaedic injuries and a cervicial fracture that nearly rendered her paralyzed.

One of the witnesses to the crash claimed that Dorothy had run the red light while other witnesses claimed the truck ran the red light. The truck driver and his employer denied liability. While the lawsuit was pending, it was discovered by Tim Cavanagh that the driver was using a Blackberry handheld device at the time of the crash. This significant fact had escaped the attention of the investigating police officers.

On the eve of trial, Tim Cavanagh and his client demanded that the driver and his employer admit that the truck driver caused the collision. It was made clear that only an admission of liability by the defendants and a significant monetary settlement could stop the case from proceeding to trial. On the morning of trial, the defendant made a formal admission of negligence and the case settled for $4.1 million.

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