A $2.7 million settlement was reached in the case of a woman who was killed while being transported to a computer class at Malcolm X College in Chicago.
According to the lawsuit, 58-year-old Ella Mae Williams had requested a ride to her class from SCR Medical Transportation, a Pace subcontractor. Ms. Williams, who suffered from obesity, heart failure, and insulin dependency for diabetes, seated herself in the front passenger seat of the minivan driven by LeRoy F. Stevenson of SCR. Because of her size, she was unable to wear a seatbelt.
As he was driving, the vehicle unexpectedly swerved off of the road and struck a light pole. Stevenson initially told police officers that he had swerved to avoid hitting a dog, but video of the accident from an onboard camera showed that Stevenson actually fell asleep at the wheel. Williams suffered blunt trauma, including a skull fracture, multiple broken ribs, and spinal cord injuries. She was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.
Attorney Edward McNabola, a partner at McNabola & Associates, LLC, filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of Ms. Williams’s daughter, LaShanda, in May 2013. The complaint alleged that Stevenson’s negligent and careless operation of the vehicle caused Ms. William’s death. Stevenson was later convicted of three traffic violations as a result of the accident, including negligent driving, spending, and improper seatbelt use. His commercial driver’s license was also suspended for one year.
Click here to view the original report from the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.