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City Council Panel OKs $5M Settlement In Severed Leg Case

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Man Sued City Over Crash Caused By Ice From Leaking Water Main

wbbm 1025 council chambers City Council Panel OKs $5M Settlement In Severed Leg Case
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CHICAGO (CBS) – A City Council committee has backed a $5 million settlement for a man whose leg was amputated above the knee, following a crash caused by ice created by a chronically leaking water main.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports First Deputy Corporation Counsel Leslie Darling told the Finance Committee that 24-year-old Edwin Hill was severely injured while waiting for a bus on the South Side in November 2008.

“Denise Dickerson was headed eastbound on 95th when she drove into an area of ice and water, lost control of her car, went over the curb, and struck Mr. Hill,” she said. “Her car pinned his leg against a street light pole, nearly severing it on impact.”

Darling said Hill’s lawyers made a good argument that the city was negligent in failing to repair the leaking water main, had been the subject of several complaints before the crash.

“A Water Department investigator went to the scene two days after the accident, documented a large amount of ice in the roadway, and found both the leaking water main and a leaking water service which were both repaired,” she said.

Darling said two nearby business owners testified to recurring leaks on that street for a number of years before the crash.

“City records also reflect periodic reports of water in the street, including two in 2008 prior to the occurrence,” she said.

Darling said a jury that would hear that evidence at trial likely would award Hill more than $5 million in damages.

The full City Council will consider the proposed settlement on Wednesday.