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Settlement Approved for Woman Killed While Removing Bike From Bus

The estate of a Chicago woman, killed while removing her bicycle from a CTA bus, will receive $5.45 million dollars.

On December 31, 2007, Ludwika Szynalik stepped off the No. 152 Addison bus and went to remove her bicycle from the carrier attached to the front of the bus. The bus driver began to accelerate and did not see the 56-year-old Szynalik. She was caught under the bus and was dragged for over 100 feet. She died later that day after being taken to Lutheran General Hospital.

Szynalik’s family filed suit in 2008 and have waited five years for a resolution to the case. At the time the driver of the bus, Martin Stark, was charged with negligent driving and failure to exhibit due care for a pedestrian. It was determined by a joint investigation between the CTA and Chicago Police that Stark was at fault for the accident. That driver no longer works for the CTA. The settlement was agreed upon at the board meeting of the transit agency held on November 14th.

Since the time of the accident, the CTA has revised its operating procedure regarding passengers who use the bicycle rack. A public safety campaign was launched to remind bicycling transit users to exit the bus at the front door and let the driver know they are removing a bicycle from the rack.

Fatal accidents should not guide how companies pay attention to their customers. But if you or a loved one knows someone who has been injured by the negligence of a municipality, call Spiros Law, P.C. at (815) 929-9292 to explore your legal rights.