A jury deliberated three hours before returning a defense verdict in Hardney vs. Bird, a personal injury case before Judge Susan T. O'Leary in Will County, IL. Kathleen McDonough of Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney, Ltd. served as trial attorney for defendants Spencer's Transport, Inc. and their driver, Justin B. Bird, who was found not guilty by a jury of 11.
The verdict was delivered on March 13, 2009 after a week-long trial.
The case stemmed from a highway accident in September of 2003. Bird attempted to make a lane change in his 18-wheeler semi-truck while heading south on Interstate 57 in Will County and, while doing so, struck Hardney's vehicle. Bird contended that he had used his turn signals and checked his mirror twice, but that Hardney's vehicle was in his blind spot.
Neither party stopped at the scene, but drove instead to the next exit. Hardney, who was six months pregnant, refused medical attention at the scene. She went to the emergency room later that day where she complained of back pain, and went into early labor. Hardney was put on medication to stop contractions, was released the next morning, and gave birth 3 months later to a healthy baby. She began complaining of severe back pain which ultimately led to multi-level spinal fusion surgery which resulted in permanent nerve damage.
No damages were awarded to Hardney, who had sought $1,254,000.00.
Spencer's Transport was insured by Lincoln General Insurance Company, which engaged Segal McCambridge to defend the matter.