Safelite Settles with Illinois Couple for $8 Million

gavel and moneyAfter two and a half weeks of trial in the Cook County Circuit Court, Safelite Group settled with Ronald and Margaret Furst who were in an accident allegedly caused by a Safelite technician in a work van, their attorneys say.

In the accident, which occurred in May 2010, the Fursts were traveling eastbound on Route 175 at the eastern edge of Marengo, Ill., according to their attorneys. Safelite’s driver, Eric Lang, allegedly drove his company van at an estimated 45 miles per hour into the rear of an Audi driven by defendant Lucas Tichawa, who was waiting to turn left off west 176 onto Prospect Street, say the attorneys.

“With his wheels turned left while stopped, Tichawa’s car was pushed into the path of the Fursts’ oncoming motorcycle operated by Ron Furst,” says Todd A Smith of Power Rogers & Smith, who represented the plaintiffs. “They impacted the passenger side of the Audi and were ejected from the motorcycle.”

In the case, the plaintiffs’ attorneys introduced evidence from phone records that the Safelite driver was up until about 2 a.m. Testimony also indicated that he got up at about 6 a.m. to go to work. The driver was completing a 12-plus hour shift with no more than four hours sleep at the time of the collision, say the attorneys.

The accident was witnessed by an off duty paramedic and her husband. Ron Furst was airlifted to Rockford Memorial Hospital and Margaret Furst was airlifted to St. Anthony’s in Rockford, according to the attorneys.

Margaret Furst was diagnosed with a T11 burst fracture. She underwent a 5 level fusion to T9 through L1. She was treated with a neurosurgeon, a physiatrist and pain manager. Although she was able to return to many of the activities of daily living, her back injury has caused her “periodic pain and disability and may require future surgery,” say the attorneys.

Ron Furst was diagnosed with left acetabular facture and humerus facture of his left arm. Following surgery, he was discharged and underwent inpatient and outpatient rehab. While he has regained mobility, he has been unable to return to his physically demanding carpet cleaning business, which he ran with his sons, according to his attorneys.

“Ron’s treating orthopedic surgeons anticipate that he may need, as time goes on, joint replacement in the effected joint space,” the attorneys say.

The case was dismissed on November 18, 2015 by agreement, according to Cook County court records.

To read the Fursts’ complaint, click here.

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