A coach at a suburban Chicago high school has filed a lawsuit against a 92-year-old man for injuries received in a July automobile accident. James Schurr, the coach, received “severe injuries” that have left him unable to work. Schurr’s lawsuit alleges that Homer Askounis negligently drove into oncoming traffic, striking Schurr’s vehicle head-on. It is alleged that Askounis was driving too fast and in the wrong lane.
Schurr’s back injuries required that he undergo a spinal fusion. He has been unable to return to work at Libertyville High School as a football and baseball coach. His lawsuit is seeking both regular and punitive damages. Schurr is represented by Chicago trial lawyer Eugene Hollander, who discusses the lawsuit in this report.
Hollander says that there is no real information at this point whether the defendant’s age had anything to do with the accident. Hollander explains that the defendant’s car “drifted over the center line.” What caused him to do that is still not known. “Obviously, it’s going to be the subject of some discovery.”
As for damages, Hollander says that the complaint in the case has asked for “the jurisdictional minimum, which is in excess of $50,000.” It is too soon to state a specific number, Hollander says, because the plaintiff has had very serious injuries. He has been unable to return to work. He is still seeing a doctor and has an appointment in December. After that appointment, Hollander suggests, it will perhaps be possible to figure out how well Schurr’s injuries will heal. However, when and if Schurr will be able to return to work is contingent on his medical condition. Schurr is hopeful that he will be able to return to work in the near future.
Hollander says he doesn’t know how a jury might respond to the issue of the defendant’s age. It is presently unknown whether the defendant had a medical condition that caused him to cross the centerline. The weather was bad on the day of the accident. The defendant did not reduce his speed and veered across the centerline. Also, Hollander notes, the defendant pleaded guilty in traffic court to a charge of improper lane usage. Hollander says that he and his client would both like to get the case resolved, but it is important that Schurr understand what his situation will be in the future and receive adequate compensation.
Eugene K. Hollander is a principal in the Law Offices of Eugene K. Hollander, Chicago, Illinois. He has served as a prosecutor with the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, where he successfully prosecuted numerous individuals on the trial and appellate levels. Before opening his own office, Mr. Hollander associated himself with several aggressive litigation firms where he represented a Fortune 500 corporation in the defense of its labor claims, and successfully defended a class action contract claim at trial. He was recently selected as an Illinois Super Lawyer based on a statewide survey of practicing attorneys. The Legal Broadcast Network is a featured network of the Sequence Media Group.