Corboy & Demetrio Secures Largest Mass Transit Crash Verdict in Illinois

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A jury awarded $29.6 Million to a Metra passenger who was seriously injured in the 2005 Metra derailment. Corboy & Demetrio, a personal injury law firm in Chicago, represented the passenger.

This verdict exemplifies the fact that juries almost always do the right thing. This jury learned all about Renea before she was injured. They met seven of her treating doctors and heard about her future. By this jury verdict, Renea will be taken care of for the rest of her life.

Renea Poppel, a passenger seriously injured in the Metra derailment in Chicago on September 17, 2005, received a $29,560,081.15 jury verdict after a two-week trial presided over by Cook County Circuit Court Judge Thomas H. Hogan. The verdict is believed to be the largest mass transit crash verdict in Illinois history. The plaintiff was represented by Chicago personal injury attorneys Thomas A. Demetrio, Daniel M. Kotin and William T. Gibbs of the Corboy & Demetrio law firm.

Metra Lawsuit

On September 17, 2005, a double-decker five car Rock Island Metra train was traveling from Joliet toward downtown Chicago with 185 passengers on board. At about 8:30 a.m., the train encountered a track crossover with a maximum allowable speed of 10 miles per hour (mph). The train entered the crossover at 69 mph, causing it to violently derail.

Renea Poppel, 25 years old and a graduate of Lewis University, was traveling downtown on the Metra Rock Island Line from her home in Midlothian, Illinois, to her new job as an admissions counselor at Kaplan University. She was 13 weeks pregnant at the time. As a result of the derailment, Renea suffered traumatic brain injury. She remained in a coma for several months. Renea's unborn child survived the wreck, and was born via emergency C-section on January 21, 2006.

According to Tom Demetrio, "Renea is one of the most extraordinary individuals I've ever had the pleasure to represent. It is professionally satisfying that the jury responded to her in such a favorable manner."

Dan Kotin stated, "This verdict exemplifies the fact that juries almost always do the right thing. This jury learned all about Renea before she was injured. They met seven of her treating doctors and heard about her future. By this jury verdict, Renea will be taken care of for the rest of her life."

Bill Gibbs added "Renea Poppel is a remarkable young woman whose life was forever changed by this derailment. The jury's verdict appropriately compensated her for all she has been through and all she will go through for the rest of her life."

Bank of America, N.A. and Geraldine Edmonds, Co-Guardians of the Estate of Renea Poppel, a disabled person, v. Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corporation, d/b/a/ Metra. Case number 200L010320 E

About Corboy & Demetrio
Named as a Top Law Firm by Chicago Magazine in 2008, Corboy & Demetrio is one of the nation's premier law firms. The Chicago law firm represents individuals and their families in serious personal injury and wrongful death cases, and is renowned for its achievements in the courtroom and for its contributions to the community. The rights and concerns of its clients are at the core of Corboy & Demetrio's practice. That dedication, compassion and relentless drive has resulted in exceptional service and exceptional results for its clients. The Chicago based personal injury firm has acquired more than $3 billion in settlements and verdicts and has attained more than 500 settlements and verdicts in excess of $1 million.

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Mary Neville
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