A suburban Chicago man whose legs were amputated in 2017 after a car lurched forward into a parking space, pinning him against the front of a 7-Eleven store, reached a $91 million settlement on Monday with the convenience store chain.
A Cook County judge approved the settlement on the day the man’s lawsuit had been set for a jury trial, said James Power, one of the attorneys representing the 57-year-old plaintiff, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The man was waiting in front of a 7-Eleven store in Bensenville for his carpool ride to a food processing plant on Sept. 20, 2017, when a motorist pulling into a parking space in front of the store stepped on his car’s accelerator instead of the brake, Power said.
The car lurched over a curb, across a sidewalk and pinned the man against the storefront, causing injuries that would require the amputation of both his legs above the knees, Power said. The man was hospitalized for a month after the crash and now walks using prosthetic legs, he said.
“He has been through a lot of pain,” Power said.
The 2017 crash was one of thousands of similar incidents identified in discovery for the case – collisions that frequently resulted in crippling injuries, he said. The crashes could have been prevented, Power said, if 7-Elevens had installed bollards _ thick posts anchored in the ground – between storefronts and parking spaces.
A spokesperson for 7-Eleven, which operates about 8,000 locations nationwide, said the company was “heartbroken by this tragedy” and its thoughts were with the man and his family.
“It is important to note that this unfortunate accident was caused by a reckless driver who pled guilty, and this store followed all local building codes and ordinances,” the spokesperson added.
This article was first published in Insurance Journal.