Chicago, IL - During a rainstorm in 2008, Hiroyuki Joho, 18, (pictured) was trying to catch a train. While hurrying towards the platform with an umbrella shielding him from the rain, he made the literally fatal mistake of stepping into the path of an oncoming Amtrak express train.
The teen’s mother Jeung-Hee Park, had reportedly left Joho, a high school student, at the station that morning. It is believed that he thought that the approaching train was his local train and that he expected it to slow down. Joho crossed over the tracks using the pedestrian crossing which put him in the path of the train.
Joho’s train, in fact, had been delayed by the bad weather and overtaken by the Amtrak express. That train, traveling at close to 70mph, did not slow down. Joho was reportedly ‘shredded’ on impact.
Gayane Zokhrabov, 58, a commuter waiting on the platform was hit by a ‘sizeable portion of Joho’s body.’ The impact – which occured after a portion of Joho’s torso had traveled almost 100 feet through the air – was reported to have knocked her to the ground, breaking her leg and wrist and injuring her shoulder.
Zokhrabov subsequently filed a lawsuit against the boy’s estate seeking compensation for her injuries. A Cook County court judge reviewing the case dismissed it, ruling that Joho could not possibly have anticipated Zokhrabov’s injuries. Lawyer Leslie Rosen, handling Zokhrabov’s appeal, disagreed.
“If you do something as stupid as this guy did, you have to be responsible for what comes from it,” Rosen said.
On appeal, the court agreed. Calling it a ‘tragically bizarre’ case, the appeals court found that ‘it was reasonably foreseeable’ that the high-speed train would kill the teen and hurl his body toward a platform where people were waiting.
So, instead of the teen’s raining body parts considered as being part of the storm, if you will… the court found that they were, in effect, the result of tacit neglegence.
Incidentally, the mother of the teen had filed her own lawsuit against Metra and the Canadian Pacific Railway saying both entities were negligent because Joho had no warning that what he thought was his Metra train was actually an express Amtrak train. The judge in that case found that the railroads had no duty to warn about such an “open and obvious danger” as a moving train, a decision upheld on appeal.
So… the bottle has stopped spinning and the family ends up being the only one that get sued.Tags: body parts, Chicago, Gayane Zokhrabov, Hiroyuki Joho, Illinois, train