Tragically Bizarre: Man killed by train in Chicago can be sued for bystander’s injuries
Calling it a “tragically bizarre” case, an Illinois appeals court has ruled that a man killed by a train while crossing the tracks at a Chicago Metra station can be held responsible after part of his body struck and injured a bystander.
In 2008, Hiroyuki Joho, 18, was hurrying in the pouring rain with an umbrella over his head, trying to catch a Metra train, when he was struck by an Amtrak train traveling at more than 70 mph.
Several witnesses said he was smiling as the train hit him.
A large portion of his body flew about 100 feet onto the southbound platform, where it struck Gayane Zokhrabov, then 58. She was knocked to the ground, her leg and wrist broken and her shoulder injured.
A Cook County judge dismissed Zokhrabov’s lawsuit against Joho’s estate, finding that Joho could not have anticipated Zokhrabov’s injuries.
But the appellate court disagreed. After noting that the case law involving “flying bodies” is sparse, it ruled that “it was reasonably foreseeable” that the high-speed train would kill Joho and fling his body toward a platform where people were waiting.