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New arbitration case against a driver

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois Emergency Services Vehicles

New arbitration case against a driver

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
March 8, 2011

Yesterday, as I drove by the Woodstock Police Department, I saw that a police car, damaged in a January 19th crash, was still stored on the PD's parking lot. It would seem that, under normal circumstances, a police car would be promptly repaired and put back in service but, in this case, it's still sitting there.

That caused me to wonder whether municipalities are subject to their own ordinances... Can a PD park a disabled, wrecked, inoperable vehicle in its parking lot without violating the nuisance ordinance of the City of Woodstock? Normally, ten days is the limit. A call to the City uncovered an allowance made (although not in the Code) for vehicles awaiting an insurance adjuster or involved in some legal challenge. They can be stored longer than the ten days.

From there I looked up the court date for the driver who is alleged to have violated a traffic law (failure to yield to an emergency vehicle) in order to end up hitting the police car, and I found that her next court date is March 16 at 1:30PM.

But then I found a new case in court, in which the police officer involved in the January 19th crash at Route 47 and Lake Ave. with that driver has filed an arbitration case against her. That case (No. 11AR000086) is an "Arbitration > $30,000-$50,000". What could that be about?

The officer, individually, has filed the case, and he is represented by the law firm of Franks, Gerkin & McKenna of Marengo. The amount of damages being sought must be considerable for the Franks firm to get involved. Are those cases usually taken on a contingency-fee basis, with a "customary" legal fee of 30-40% of the winnings (errr, award)?

From reading the crash report, it seems to me that the officer entered the intersection against a red light and drove in front of a car which had a green light. The officer didn't get a ticket; the civilian driver did. And now he has filed a case against that driver.

What's up?

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