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Cavanagh Law Group Obtains $2.1M Settlement for Truck Driver Injured in Low-Impact Collision

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CHICAGO — Cavanagh Law Group obtained a $2.1 million settlement for a truck driver who was injured in a 2017 crash with a DePaul University van.

On November 10, 2017, Samuel Rubenstein was driving a 2015 Kenworth cement truck in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood when an Econoline passenger van, driven by a DePaul student, crossed the center line and hit Rubenstein’s vehicle head-on at about 5 miles per hour. The crash was captured on a camera in the cement truck.

On March 13, 2018, Cavanagh Law Group filed a negligence lawsuit against DePaul University and the student driving the van.

Two weeks before the case was set to go to trial in January 2020, Cavanagh Law Group partners Tim Cavanagh and Michael Sorich obtained a $2.1 million settlement in the case.

“Our client suffered an injury that required surgery more than six months later and has resulted in daily pain that impacts every aspect of his life,” Cavanagh said. “Although the crash occurred at a relatively low speed, the impact on his life has been significant.”

Rubenstein was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago immediately after the Nov. 10, 2017, crash. X-rays were taken, and Rubenstein was diagnosed with a cervical muscle strain, knee pain and a sprain of his trapezium.

In the weeks and months to follow, Rubenstein continued to experience pain in his neck, elbow and knee. An MRI was ordered. In June 2018, he was diagnosed with right arm paresthesia and degenerative disc disease in the C4-5 through C6-7 discs.

Rubenstein underwent anterior cervical discectomy and fusion surgery in 2018.

Defense attorneys in the case argued Rubenstein’s injuries could not have been caused by the 2017 crash due to the low-speed nature of the collision.

Cavanagh Law Group retained a biomechanical engineer who explained in detail how the force of impact was, in fact, directly responsible for Rubenstein’s injuries. The firm also retained a neurosurgeon to testify about Rubenstein’s injuries and the fusion surgery. Rubenstein had no history of spinal issues before the crash.

Cavanagh and Sorich also commissioned a computer animation to illustrate Rubenstein’s spinal injuries and explain his surgical procedure to jurors.

“Our client sustained a very serious injury and underwent a three-level fusion,” Sorich said. “We were able to prove through expert testimony that our client’s spinal injury was caused by the crash. We are pleased we were able to get Mr. Rubenstein the financial compensation he deserves.”

Hon. Judge James N. O’Hara of the Circuit Court of Cook County presided in the case of Samuel Rubenstein and Donna Jean Rubenstein vs. DePaul University, et al. Case No. 2018-L-002608.

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