Douglas v. Gamawa and Yellow Cab Management

Pedestrian Struck by Taxicab

On June 25, 2004, Paul Douglas, a 44 year old male, had just finished dinner at a restaurant with friends. Mr. Douglas got up and left his table at an outdoor café, and began to walk northbound on Halsted, crossing Roscoe in Chicago. Defendant Omar Gamawa was driving a Yellow Cab proceeding westbound on Roscoe at 50 miles per hour far in excess of the posted speed limit, and ran a red light striking the Plaintiff. Defendant Gamawa pled guilty in traffic court to reckless driving.

Plaintiff sustained a comminuted fracture of the right tibia mid-shaft, and a displaced transverse fracture to the mid-shaft of the right fibula, and a transverse fracture to the left tibia. Plaintiff underwent two surgeries. Plaintiff’s past medical expense was $117,000, and had $35,000 in anticipated future surgeries. His past lost income was $46,000. Plaintiff was employed as a captain of a cruise ship docked at Navy Pier. His annual salary was approximately $100,000.

Plaintiff’s treating doctor was Dr. Stephen Louis, orthopedics. Defendants disclosed Dr. Jerrold Leikin, a toxicologist, Glenview, IL, to testify as to Plaintiff’s blood alcohol level at the time of the occurrence, based upon a blood serum level taken one hour later at the hospital. Mr. Hollander’s thorough cross-examination of Dr. Leikin at deposition was instrumental in resolving the case. Plaintiff’s rebuttal toxicologist was Christopher Long, PhD, St. Louis, MO, who opined that it was impossible to determine a whole blood alcohol level at an earlier time as the Plaintiff consumed a large meal at dinner.

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The parties mediated the case. At the mediation, Gene Hollander used a medical illustration prepared by Medivisuals, Inc. The parties settled for a confidential sum prior to trial. At the time of the settlement, Mr. Douglas’s attorneys had won a motion allowing them to pursue punitive damages against the taxicab driver.