Shannon Law Group January 2019

312-578-9501 | JANUARY 2019


1. All the trucking company’s telephone calls on the day of the crash were recorded. Even though our law firm notified the trucking company to preserve all recordings on the date we were hired, the company representatives deleted them right before our depositions of company employees. 2. The insurance company originally told us the policy limits for the trucking company were $1 million. Then, suddenly, they were $3 million. We asked for a certified copy, which then revealed liability limits of $5 million. 3. In the police report, the company truck driver never mentioned anything about turning left on a green arrow. 4. At his deposition, the owner of the truck company pleaded the Fifth Amendment, refusing to answer questions about whether or not he had signed a federal form affirming that the company had minimal safety mechanisms in place to train its workers and protect the general public. 5. Our team of experts determined that in order for the truck driver’s version to make sense, Carolyn would have had to be traveling at over 200 mph in her Toyota Prius prior to the crash. In essence, our investigation revealed that the lion’s share of fault for the crash pointed to the trucking company, not Carolyn. We were prepared to try the case. Our legal bags were packed, the witnesses were prepared, and our client was ready for her day in court. Right before trial, the insurance company offered Carolyn the full policy limit — $5 million — to settle her case. With this settlement, she was able to return home and live independently. We are so grateful to Carolyn for entrusting us with this sensitive matter. Thank you, Carolyn! I am so proud of the work done by our team. Pat Cummings, Jon Svitak, Brittany Peterson, and Kate Refine each worked tirelessly to bring this case together. We stand ready for our next trial, and we look forward to helping Carolyn in the future.

There are certain moments in our work that remind us of why we represent the vulnerable. October 31, 2018, was one of them. On that day, our client, Carolyn Robertshaw, returned to her home after spending nearly three years living in nursing homes. We were initially called to help Carolyn on Feb. 20, 2016. Twelve days earlier, in Lemont, Illinois, a truck had crashed into Carolyn’s Toyota Prius as she was traveling to her dentist’s office. Carolyn was in the hospital with absolutely no memory of the crash. The only other witness was the truck driver, who alleged that Carolyn had run a red light and struck the truck as the company driver was turning left under a green arrow light. When we initially met, Carolyn was way behind the insurance and trucking companies. She needed legal help. When we are first hired in a serious injury case, we start with the basics. We obtain the police report, locate the vehicles, contact and interview witnesses, review the scene, and get our experts the evidence they need to review as soon as possible. After our initial investigation, we realized the trucking company’s version of the crash did not add up. We filed Carolyn’s case, obtained subpoena power, and gathered as much information from the company as possible. we started taking depositions of the trucking company’s representatives, the facts became clearer. The company had failed to adequately train the truck driver. She’d had no prior commercial driving experience; in fact, the date of the crash was her first day driving the truck solo. She had taken a wrong turn off the Stevenson Expressway and was attempting to turn around, but she was not fully capable of handling the challenges associated with operating a commercial vehicle. When I first spoke with the trucking company’s insurance representatives, the message was clear: the insurance company was never going to pay Carolyn anything because, allegedly, she had caused the crash. What did we learn in our investigation? Here are a few highlights: The insurance company and the trucking company stonewalled us repeatedly, delaying the production of evidence. When

–Joe Shannon

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