Bystander Struck By Flying Body May Sue Dead Man's Estate, Appeals Court Says
A woman who was injured when she was struck by the body of a commuter killed by an oncoming Amtrak train may sue his estate for damages, an Illinois appeals court has ruled.
The slain man, 18-year-old Hiroyuki Joho, was hurrying to catch a train in heavy rain in September 2008 when he was struck and killed, the Chicago Tribune reports. A large part of his body flew through the air and struck Gayane Zokhrabov, who was waiting for the Metra train. The 58-year-old woman suffered injuries to her shoulder, leg and wrist.
The First Judicial District of the Illinois Court of Appeals said Zokhrabov may sue because her injuries were foreseeable and Joho owed her a duty of care. The court reversed a trial judge who found that the accident “was not reasonably foreseeable and was instead tragically bizarre,” according to the opinion (PDF).
Joho’s mother, meanwhile, has sued Metra and the Canadian Pacific Railway, alleging that Joho had no warning that the train moving toward the station was an express Amtrak train rather than an arriving commuter Metra train, the Tribune says.
Hat tip to @walterolson, the Twitter feed for the principal author of Overlawyered.com.