Only in America, and maybe France, can a person injured by the flying body parts of a person killed after being struck by a train sue the deceased’s family, as evidenced by this recent legal ruling dealing with the death of Hiroyuki Joho, an 18-year-old who was tragically killed by an Amtrak commuter train at Edgebrook Metra station in Chicago in 2008.
Joho was crossing at a same-level pedestrian crosswalk on a rainy day after spotting his train approaching the opposite platform. What he didn’t see was the Amtrak train bearing down on him at 70 mph until it was much too late. The teenager was killed instantly, and a portion of his body flew 100 feet or so where it hit unsuspecting commuter Gayane Zokhrabov, causing her to break her wrist and leg, and injure her shoulder as well. The woman sued the victim’s estate for damages caused by his dismembered corpse, possibly to help cover her medical expenses.
Zokhrabov had her initial suit against the deceased Joho dismissed, but a state appeals court reversed that decision, allowing the 58-year-old to go ahead with litigation against the victim’s family.
Zokhrabov’s lawyer, Leslie Rosen, released a statement that’s sure not to win her client, or herself, much sympathy with the public…
Lawyer Leslie Rosen, who handled Zokhrabov’s appeal, argued that the case was a straightforward negligence case, albeit with ‘very peculiar and gory and creepy’ circumstances.
‘If you do something as stupid as this guy did, you have to be responsible for what comes from it,’ she said.
I’m no law talking guy, but if this case somehow comes before a jury, I’m sure the defense will use that last sentence in their favor. Of course, with my limited knowledge of the law (I don’t understand them, I just break them), there’s probably zero chance this type of case would involve a jury anyway. So there’s that.
Joho’s mother, Jeung-Hee Park, is taking the case to the Illinois Supreme Court in the hopes of getting the reversed decision reversed yet again. Let’s just hope the justice system makes the correct decision in the end.
But I wouldn’t count on it.