Lawyer and wife win $26M jury verdict; defendant cab company immediately files bankruptcy
A former Chicago lawyer who was left brain damaged by a 2005 taxicab accident on an Illinois highway was awarded nearly $26 million, along with his wife, in a Tuesday evening jury verdict in Cook County Circuit Court.
But within hours the defendant in the case, Yellow Cab Affiliation, had sought bankruptcy protection, reports the Chicago Tribune.
The company’s Chapter 11 filing in the wee hours Wednesday means plaintiffs Marc and Deborah Jacobs “may never see a dime,” their lead attorney, Chicago trial lawyer Robert Clifford, told the newspaper. Noting the approximately eight-hour gap between when the trial court hearing ended Tuesday night and when the bankruptcy case was filed at 3:45 a.m. on Wednesday, he said the bankruptcy filing in federal court in Chicago must have been a “long-planned strategy to avoid accountability and responsibility.”
The cab company said in a written statement that it plans to appeal the verdict and is hopeful of success because it was neither the owner nor the operator of the taxi involved in the accident, although it operated under the Yellow Cab banner.
Marc Jacobs was 44 and a real estate partner at Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg at the time of the crash. He now is a hospital volunteer in California, where he counsels others with brain injuries. His wife is the family breadwinner and they moved to California for her job, the newspaper recounts. At the time of the accident, the couple lived in the Chicago suburb of Hinsdale.