On September 17, 2008, Illinois resident Renea Poppel had just settled into her normal morning commute when the train she was on ran off the tracks between Joliet and Chicago, injuring more than 100 passengers and killing two. Poppel sustained severe injuries in the derailment, including a broken pelvis, a broken neck, and severe brain damage.
Even after more than 20 surgeries, Poppel requires the use of a wheelchair and experiences ongoing sensory problems.
An investigation conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board cited human error in the derailment, noting that an engineer did not properly slow the train before attempting to change tracks. The suggested speed for such a maneuver is approximately 10 miles per hour, while black box data indicate that the commuter train was traveling at an estimated 69 miles per hour.
A Cook County jury awarded Poppel $29.5 million in the case, citing her medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of normal life, and future damages.
Have you or a family member sustained a traumatic injury? Let an experienced personal injury attorney walk you through your legal options. Contact the attorneys at The Heller Law Firm for a free consultation, or call us direct at 866-461-5791. You will hear from us either the same day or within 24 hours.