Frivolous Lawsuit??

[deleted account] ( 62 moms have responded )

I came across this yesterday; it was originally a FB post by my favorite radio station. So, I decided to look up some other news stories about it, to see if it was even real... it is.

Court: Woman can sue dead victim of bizarre train accident: report
Commuter was hit, injured by pieces of teen victim’s body

BY PHILIP CAULFIELD / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Thursday, December 29 2011, 3:13 PM

An Illinois court ruled that a woman can sue the estate of a young man who was struck and killed by a speeding train because she was struck and injured by pieces of his body.

An appeals court has ruled that a young man killed in the Chicago area by a speeding train can be sued by a woman who was injured after being struck by a flying piece of his body, according to a local report.

Hiroyuki Joho, 18, was rushing through the rain to catch a Metra commuter train in Edgebrook at around 8 a.m. on Sept. 13, 2008, when he was struck and killed by an Amtrak train clocking more than 70 miles per hour, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Part of his body was thrown more than 100 feet, where it hit Gayane Zokhrabov, 58, who was waiting on a nearby platform for her train to work.

Zokhrabov fell, breaking her wrist and leg and injuring her shoulder.

Zokhrabov later sued Joho's estate, but a Cook County judge threw out the lawsuit, ruling that the young victim couldn't be held responsible for Zokhrabov's injuries, the Tribune reported.

A state court has shot down that ruling, calling the gruesome and bizarre details of the case "reasonably foreseeable."

Leslie Rosen, Zokhrabov's lawyer, told the Tribune that the "gory and creepy" details of the case didn't excuse the teen victim's negligence.

"If you do something as stupid as this guy did, you have to be responsible for what comes from it," she said.

Joho's mother sued the railway for not alerting riders that the Metra train was delayed that morning, but lost.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national...

Okay, this is freaking ridiculous. So who is going to pay? Undoubtedly, the deceased young man’s parents. How sad for them. A loss and now a lawsuit. I truly believe that lawsuits are getting out of control.

Thoughts?

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Kate CP - posted on 01/06/2012

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"her life is changed forever....who are all of you to place judgement on something you have limited information about?"

Woah, now. When did this become personal? And why aren't we talking about how HIS life an his family's life is forever changed? This whole situation sucks for everyone involved. What we're debating is whether or not this suit has any merit. This woman is asking a jury to believe that an 18 year old boy had the foresight to reasonably believe that IF he were struck by a speeding train that parts of his body could have gone flying over 100 feet to strike a person and possibly cause them injury.

I'm sorry, but I don't think a person COULD reasonably foresee that happening.

[deleted account]

"And interestingly, you feel remorse for his family who still have their health, bit call the real victim a callous bitch. "

They have their health but not their child. She's alive and again, just becuase your injured in an accident does not mean you get a financial windfall from whomever you can sue.

Kellie - posted on 01/05/2012

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I'd just like to point out that being recklessly negligent and driving through a stop sign is completely different to an accidental death such as this.

The article doesn't say he was engaging in reckless or negligent behaviour at the time of his death, it was an accident.

Fuck can we not even have accidents without being sued anymore? Shit In That case then maybe my partner should sue the 81 year old lady who collapsed in front of our car leaving it impossible for him to avoid her. Amazingly enough she survived being hit by a 4 wheel drive.

Jodi - posted on 01/05/2012

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I can't see that as any different than suing the estate of a kid who was speeding, caused a car accident, he dies, but you don't, but end up injured. In this scenario, he was negligent. Sure, he died too, but a negligent act shouldn't be negated simply because you die. Someone ends up injured and therefore out of pocket (medical expenses, wages, etc), an innocent victim shouldn't have to pay for that.

I would suggest that given it was ruled that it was "reasonably foreseeable" that the guy was doing the wrong thing and probably ducking across the tracks when he shouldn't have.....

From an emotional perspective, yes, I do think it is a punch in the stomach and not really appropriate, but from a legal perspective, I can see why the ruling was made.

[deleted account]

I can see her winning if he jumped front of the train to commit suicide, but if his death was an accident, by definition, he wasn't at fault, neither was the train, city, nor insurance company.

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[deleted account]

Aha! The woman should sue the government for not having universal health care!!! (thought I'd slip that one in!)

Allison - posted on 01/12/2012

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wish i was suprised but i'm not. only in America would some one sue the estate of a dead teen because pieces of his body went flying causing minor injury. i'm sorry i get a broken wrist and leg suck but its not like it was life threatening. what a horrible woman and her lawyer belongs in Hell and the judges who allowed this to go through also belong there. i feel bad for the mother, but i also think her lawsuit was stupid. fact is since the boy was eighteen she only gets what belonged to him not the parents. and what ever he would have inherited as well so really the parents just have to change the will and the woman gets nothing.

[deleted account]

To be fair, it's probaby the insurance company that's forcing this lady to sue. Often insurance companies don't want to pay out if they can think of another way to get the money to their client and they don't appear to have any morals or conscience when they dream up these ideas.

Mommy - posted on 01/08/2012

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Laura, I saw that documentary too, and I think that's why I agree with the suit having merit. Granted this is not a corporation, but that documentary made me look at things I a different light.

Isobel - posted on 01/08/2012

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Everybody needs to watch the documentary "Hot Coffee" (it's not really about McDonald's but about corporations removing people's right to access the court system). It's really fascinating.



and yes, putting hot coffee between your legs is stupid...stupid enough to earn you first degree burns all up and down your legs...not third with nerve damage and three reconstructive surgeries...god forbid we ask corporations to behave in a responsible and ethical manner...what nerve

Kate CP - posted on 01/07/2012

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Well, there's no doubt that it could harm yourself. He's not suing himself. What I am saying is that where this woman was standing, one may be led to believe or suspect that she was reasonably protected. I'm not saying that it excuses the boy's reckless behavior, but that I don't agree with the idea that he could reasonably foresee a person being injured where this woman was standing by his actions.

Mommy - posted on 01/07/2012

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But it is reasonably forseeable that juming in front of a moving train, whether to harm yourself or to try and beat the train across the tracks can cause harm to self and others. You don't have to forsee the exact outcome, only that there is danger to self and others.

Kate CP - posted on 01/06/2012

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No, I don't think it's reasonably foreseeable that any object would fly over 100 feet to strike a woman waiting on a train platform. Those things are usually covered and have fencing.

Jodi - posted on 01/06/2012

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Kate does have a point....it's kind of hard to conceive of the fact that your body parts would fly 100m to hit someone AND injure them suffiently for a lawsuit. But does that mean that IF it wasn't his body pieces, but instead, a piece of the train that flew off and hit her, that he WOULD be at fault and it WOULD be reasonable foreseeable? After all, the ACCIDENT itself was what I would consider reasonably foreseeable, just not necessarily the cause of the injuries.

Jodi - posted on 01/06/2012

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True, the question was about the merits of the lawsuit, but I guess debates evolve. Callous bitch was probably a little on the strong side.....

Mommy - posted on 01/06/2012

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I just feel liked everyone is jumping on this woman and we don't know the whole story. I thought we were debating the fairness of the law suit, not the womans character.

Jodi - posted on 01/06/2012

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And Jen, the article doesn't mention WHAT she is suing for, whether a financial windfall, or just medical and loss of earnings (which I wouldn't call a windfall).

Jodi - posted on 01/06/2012

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"who are all of you to place judgement on something you have limited information about?"

Lol, given this is a debate forum, so this is what we do :D

Mommy - posted on 01/06/2012

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her life is changed forever....who are all of you to place judgement on something you have limited information about?

Jodi - posted on 01/06/2012

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I don't understand how, if it is his estate that is being sued, the beneficiaries of his estate would be liable. They just won't receive anything out of his estate (if there was anything in the first place). For instance, let's say My husband and I pass away. Our children will become the beneficiaries. Any lawsuit against our estate would be exactly that, against the estate, not against the children. So if the estate can't afford the lawsuit, then it does not pass on to my children until they can pay it. It stops at the estate of the dead person. Period.



Unless, of course, the parents or family are specifically named in the lawsuit AS WELL as the deceased estate, in which case, proof would have to be provided that those parties are in any way at fault.



My understanding is that it was the estate that was sued.

Jessica - posted on 01/06/2012

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I think its scary that are world is becoming les and less compassionate... The law says something and therefore right or wrong, screw whoever as long as one side gets what they wanted....I just think there should be a better way.

Mommy - posted on 01/06/2012

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I think the point I am trying to make is that even though I also feel abd for the family, this is not about feelings. This is about legality. Legally, she was injured and has the right to seek damages to cover her expenses, pain, and suffering. It is unfortunate that the family has to recoup teh cost, possibly, but that does not make her a bad person. She is looking out for herself and her family, which is absolutely her right. I think once we take emotion out of it, which includes how we feel for each person, it becomes a little easier.

Jessica - posted on 01/06/2012

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Is the family not equally not at fault as the women and yet they are suppose to pay? They didn't push him in front of the train nor tell him it was a good idea... and no, I just really would not turn to sueing, people are so sue happy these days...and no, it's not an emotional response, its exactly what I think. The man did the wrong thing, not his family, all I'm saying is they are just as unblameable for the situation as the women and yet they are going to have to pay. So you take into account her circumstances..maybe she is poor, or losing her home...what about the family? If they are in that situation, poor, losing there home because of the lawsuit, it's ok, because in the actual accident, none of them broke a leg?

Mommy - posted on 01/06/2012

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I also don't look at it as her attacking him or his family. She didn't ask to be in this situation. And interestingly, you feel remorse for his family who still have their health, bit call the real victim a callous bitch.

Jodi - posted on 01/06/2012

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But that is an emotional response, and it isn't you. It is someone else, and we don't know her circumstances. Maybe she couldn't feed her family or was going to lose her home as a result of this. Why does that make her a callous bitch? The other man did the wrong thing and caused the accident. I'm sure if he did the wrong thing and caused a car accident in which you were injured, you would sue, whether he died or not. Or is that different because his insurance would cover it? Or is it just because it was his body parts that caused the injury, and not parts of the train?

Jessica - posted on 01/06/2012

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Also, if I DID live in a Country where there wasn't something set in place for a situation like this that was out of my control, I STILL wouldn't attack the family for money, I would find another way...because if it was ME that had just lost a child in a horrific accident, I don't think I could wrap my mind around the kind of callous bitch it would take to sue me at a time like that.

Jessica - posted on 01/06/2012

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Yes, but not at the expense of the grieving family...2 wrongs dont make a right.Luckily I am in Canada and should I ever be in that situation, I would not be left with the choice of attacking a family who has just lost a loved one.

Mommy - posted on 01/06/2012

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But Jessica, what if your family depended on your salary that you can no longer provide because of someone else's carelessness? She was wrongfully injured, and the only ones with access to his supposed estate are his parents. She needs retribution for her medical bills, at least.

Jessica - posted on 01/06/2012

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In Canada there is actually something that would cover a situation like this, there is a program or something that the government would cover the womens financial issues due to the situation beyond her control, but to hold the boys family liable for everything is just greed, I don't care what anyone says. If it were me in her situation, my first thought would to be grateful that I was alive, where that boy is dead...to think about sueing the parents of the child (which is basically what she is doing) is disgraceful.

Tam - posted on 01/06/2012

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It may also have a sticky situation if the guy was still in compulsory school. I know that in many cases for child support purposes, if a young man or woman is eighteen and still in high school, then one of the parents is still on the hook for child support until the kid graduates.

Don't know if that would have any bearing in this case though, as eighteen IS technically the age of majority in the US barring special circumstances.

Any lawyer-types have any take on that? I'm curious now.

Mommy - posted on 01/06/2012

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Hopefully for the family that's the case, because it's unfair for them to have to pay, but not because their son died and I feel bad, but because they had no fault in this. (BTW, I do feel bad for the family, but it's just not legally relevant to the issue.) But I do think the woman is justified in seeking retribution for an accident she did not cause.

Jodi - posted on 01/06/2012

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Perhaps the laws are different in different places - I am pretty sure here, it is only the estate that can be sued, not the next of kin. If the estate cannot pay, it is similar to bankruptcy, tough luck, unless the lawsuit INCLUDED the next of kin as a party to the lawsuit. So that is the angle I am coming from.

Mommy - posted on 01/06/2012

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Well that would be something that the court would have to determine, and it could go either way. It's similar to when someone dies and they have outstanding debt, they will go after the next of kin to remediate what's due. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't be happy either if I was stuck paying for something that a family member had done. It's unlikely that he has a hefty life insurance policy, being that he was so young. I know some parents get coverage for their children, but is usally for only a small amount. The reason why I brought up point 2 was because a few posters stated that he may not have any money, so how can they sue, so I was addressing that. You don't need to have money to responsible for a settlement awarded against you.

Becky - posted on 01/06/2012

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Mommy A, it's point 2 that I have a problem with. His family has absolutely no responsibility or fault in this and I think it is very unfair that they should have to pay.
I agree that his actions were negligent and I'll admit, I have very little sympathy for people who get hit by trains. (it's happened several times here recently) Unless you are at a controlled crossing and the train doesn't stop for the lights, I really think you have to be a special kind of stupid to get hit by a train. It's not like they're small or quiet! I could see her being paid out of his estate - life insurance or whatnot, but I think it would be completely unfair if his parents were made to pay for his negligence. He wasn't even a minor anymore. (or are you a minor until age 21 in the US?)

Mommy - posted on 01/06/2012

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After reading some posts I have a few points to make:
1. Just because something is accidental, does not remove the fault. Meaning, I can accidentally bump into someone with my drink ruining their dress, and it is still my fault it is ruined. Not everything that causes harm is intentional, but people are still responsible.
2. He does not have to have the money she is suing for, if awarded the money, it will paid over time by the family.
3. Crossing the tracks like that was a very reckless thing to do. We need to not be sidetracked by the tragedy of the death and look at the facts. A man ran across the tracks, CAUSING an accident in which he died and a woman was severely injured. He is responsible.

Kate CP - posted on 01/06/2012

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She's old enough to receive social security and disability. If she is working, she'll probably have some form of insurance.

Like I said, it wasn't her fault and I don't think it was his, either. He couldn't foresee that his dismembered body would go flying through the air and strike a woman. I don't think the suit has merit.

[deleted account]

"the coffee was beyond hot though...it was nuclear and she had to have three reconstructive surgeries on her vajayjay and she was a really old lady. ?

She put hot cofffee in between her legs. I'm sorry that's just stupid on her part.

Kate CP - posted on 01/06/2012

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I think the problem I have with this is that who would reasonably foresee that their body would become a flying missile and injure another person? Pieces of a car...maybe. Pieces of a motorcycle...maybe. But piece of YOUR BODY flying through the air to strike a person and cause injury is not exactly reasonably foreseeable. People have been struck by flying objects from accidents before and never sued. But this whole article of full of lawsuit happy people: the kid's mom sued the railway for not telling people their train was delayed. She lost, but still...who does that?

People need to learn to take responsibility for themselves and their own actions. While it is horrific what happened to the woman who was struck by the boy's body parts I can't say it was her fault OR his. I think this was more "act of God" really.

[deleted account]

I think this woman needs to be spanked! This is incredibly cruel to the parents of the young man who actually DIED! Yes he was stupid but every injury does not equal financial windfall!

Jodi - posted on 01/05/2012

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Kellie, where does it state the death was accidental? If he was crossing a train track when a train was coming, that would be recklessly negligent, wouldn't it? You are right, the article doesn't say. But one does have to question why he was on the tracks in front of an oncoming train. There is a reason they decided it was *reasonably foreseeable*.

Jodi - posted on 01/05/2012

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Oh, I agree Rebecca, but there is the possibility he had life insurance. I don't think they should be allowed to sue the parents (the kid was 18) or family of the deceased, only the deceased's estate. If he has no estate, then the lawsuit would just have to die its own death. And they should only be allowed to sue for actual costs, none of this millions of dollars for pain and suffering crap.

Kate CP - posted on 01/05/2012

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That's just awful. Yes, it sucks that she got hurt but a boy DIED. And now we're going to rub salt in the wound by suing his parents? That's just wrong. :(

Desiree - posted on 01/05/2012

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Sorry to say but I have heard of crazy but this is totally absurd and the reason many people think the Amercan love of lawsuits takes the cake. Honestly how can anyone lay the blame on the kid or should I say the family. Do people understand the meaning of unforeseen. That's disgusting.

Rosie - posted on 01/05/2012

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i think he (or his estate) should be held responsible. that woman wouldn't of gotten injured if it hadn't been for his actions.

reminds me of a lawsuit that a highschool classmate had to endure. his mother ran a stop sign, and ran into a bus filled with handicapped people. her 4 month old son, her 4 year old son, and she were killed instantly. nobody on the bus died, but they got injured. a couple of people sued the womans husband. as much as i think that he has suffered enough, who is responsible for those peoples injuries? she was. it's hard, but ultimately she is responsible. just like this mans actions caused harm to this woman. he's responsible. deal with it.

Isobel - posted on 01/05/2012

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the coffee was beyond hot though...it was nuclear and she had to have three reconstructive surgeries on her vajayjay and she was a really old lady. Her original request from McDonald's requested NO money, just that they redesign their lids and lower their holding temperature so as not to have it happen to anybody else. It was when they (basically) told her to fuck off and laughed in her face that she started the law suit.



AND...do you really think it's that easy to convince 12 people to side with you IF your law suit is "frivolous"? Corporations love making a statement about all these "frivolous" law suits to intimidate people from getting what is owed to them.

Isobel - posted on 01/05/2012

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that's it right? if she can't work and she can't afford her medical bills, what does she do? What he did was negligent, and it did cause her injury...I imagine it would come out of his estate or insurance or something but how else is she supposed to survive?

Tam - posted on 01/04/2012

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In this case, the state is being WAY too PC. I'm going to cry if it hits the Supreme Court.

Isobel - posted on 01/04/2012

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and as for the McDonald's "frivolous lawsuit" I highly recommend seeing the documentary "Hot Coffee" sheds a little more light on the topic in general.

Isobel - posted on 01/04/2012

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"a Cook County judge threw out the lawsuit, ruling that the young victim couldn't be held responsible for Zokhrabov's injuries"

Tam - posted on 01/04/2012

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I agree with MaryEllen.

Thing is, if I were in the same position as this woman, and I felt the need to sue someone, it would likely be the train company itself. Just like people who sue a company if they slip on a wet floor. They don't sue the person who tracked in the water.

But honestly, you can't really hold someone accountable for a freak accident. If this precedent is set, then I'm going to start being terrified of leaving the house anymore. I might say something moderately critical of someone, and when they flip out in ten years and commit some heinous crime and the victim finds out about my big mouth, they'll sue me for setting of a chain reaction.

Jeez.

Kellie - posted on 01/04/2012

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I saw this, and I have to say it's one of those "only in America" things.

What about the one's who sue Macca's for their obesity issue? I mean really get over yourselves.

This is mean and heartless, I get that she was injured (nd probably a little traumatised I mean really, it's not everyday you get hit with someone's flying body part), but to sue his parents is just wrong.

Becky - posted on 01/04/2012

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This is just crazy! How can you hold someone who is dead responsible for their actions?? Like you said, it's his parents, who had nothing to do with it and are grieving the tragic loss of their son, who are now going to be held responsible. I understand that it'd be very traumatic to be hit by a flying body part (Ick!), but this is just beyond cold and heartless. I hope she loses.

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