A third year Chicago law student who was struck by a taxi and paralyzed filed suit against the driver who hit him, the driver’s employer and a construction company whose work-site protective tunnel created a “blind corner” and contributed to the accident, according to the student’s lawyer and list of legal directories.
The suit was filed by Kurt D. Lloyd on behalf of Donald Hallsten, a student at Loyola University Chicago Law School. Hallsten, 26, was on his way to class at about 9:15 a.m. on December 16, 1999 when he was struck by a Dino Cab Co. taxi driven by Richard M. Owusu, according to Lloyd.
Hallsten had been northbound on a bicycle under a construction site protective tunnel occupying the left lane of traffic on Dearborn Street between Chestnut Street and Delaware Place, Lloyd said. Kenny Construction Co. had built the tunnel adjacent to its multi-story building project, Lloyd said.
When Hallsten reached the north end of the tunnel and entered the crosswalk at Delaware place in an attempt to cross Dearborn Street eastbound, he was struck by the taxi, Lloyd said, adding that there were no signs warning motorists about pedestrians who were exiting the tunnel and entering the crosswalks.
“Nobody knows your there until your out [of the tunnel],” Lloyd said. “[Hallsten] was in the crosswalk. He was where he was supposed to be. When you come out [of the tunnel] the traffic is not aware of your presence until you’re out in the lane. It’s a blind corner.”
Currently, Hallsten is being treated for paralysis from the waist down.
The suit seeks damages “not less than $50,000” from each of the three defendants.
The case has been assigned to Cook County Circuit Judge Philip L. Bronstein in the Law Division. Hallsten v. Kenny Construction Co., et al.. 97 L 1092.