A lawsuit has been filed against the owners of a downtown Hinsdale car wash, asserting they must pay for severe injuries suffered by three people who were hurt when a Jeep driven by a teenaged car wash employee suddenly drove across the street and crashed into a sandwich shop at which they were dining.
The lawsuit was filed in Cook County Circuit Court by attorney Louis C. Cairo against the owners of Fuller’s Car Wash, along with other defendants, on July 25, the same day the family of 14-year-old Sean Richards held a funeral for their son, who was struck and killed by the vehicle in the incident, just before it slammed into the Fontano’s Subs restaurant.
Cairo’s lawsuit made headlines at multiple Chicago news outlets that same evening.
Richards’ family was not included as a plaintiff in Cairo’s lawsuit, and has not yet filed suit against anyone in connection with the incident.
Plaintiffs Sophia N. Ricciardi, Michal Lizler, and Conner J. Sullivan filed the lawsuit against Fuller’s Carwash and its collective affiliates.
Defendants named in the lawsuit include Fuller’s Carwash Inc., and a list of associated corporate entities, along with Fuller’s employee Martin Contreras Jr., a minor, and Martin Contreras, as Contreras Jr.’s father.
The lawsuit was filed in connection with the incident that occurred July 7 in downtown Hinsdale, when a Jeep, driven by Contreras Jr. as part of his job duties at the car wash, suddenly accelerated off of the Fuller’s Car Wash lot, striking Richards on the sidewalk, before continuing across Lincoln Street and crashing into Fontano’s Subs, where Ricciardi, Lizler and Sullivan were dining.
Richards reportedly died days later of the injuries he sustained.
Ricciardi, Lizler and Sullivan claimed they suffered severe injuries in the crash.
The lawsuit asserts Contreras Jr. was negligent and careless in performing his job duties, operating the Jeep he was moving on the Fuller’s Car Wash property at that time.
The lawsuit asserts Fuller’s Car Wash should have known that the kind of Jeep vehicle involved in the crash that day has a history of documented “sudden acceleration events” and should not have allowed “an inexperienced employee” to drive such a vehicle while performing his job duties.
Plaintiffs are demanding a trial by jury and are seeking unspecified actual, punitive and emotional damages.
This article was first published in Cook County Record.