Yellow Cab Bankruptcy After Injury Lawsuit

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The company that runs Yellow Cab Company filed for bankruptcy on March 18, 2015. This was just a few short hours after a jury in Cook County awarded almost $26 million dollars to a man who suffered severe brain damage in a high-speed taxi cab crash. This bankruptcy means that the injured man, Marc Jacobs, and his wife Deborah, may never see a one cent of that money, according to their attorney, Robert Clifford.

On Tuesday evening, March 17th, the Jacobs' were awarded $25.9 million dollars. At 3:45 am on Wednesday March 18th, Yellow Cab Affiliation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in United States Bankruptcy Court in Chicago, IL.

Yellow Cab’s bankruptcy is a direct and swift response to the jury’s verdict. The Jacobs’ were listed in the filing as one of the creditors.

Mr. Jacobs worked in real estate. He was on his way home after a client dinner when the driver of the taxi he was riding home in lost control of the cab and exited I-294 at Ogden Avenue. The cab ended up in a drainage area next to the exit ramp, vaulted 32 feet, and slammed into a concrete barrier. Mr. Jacobs suffered permanent brain damage. Even after several surgeries and extensive rehabilitation, he was not able to return to the kind of work he did before the accident.

Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs filed a lawsuit accusing the cab driver of negligence. The lawsuit also named the owner of the cab as well as Yellow Cab Affiliation, Inc. The jury found Yellow Cab and the cab driver at fault. Mr. Jacobs was awarded $21.99 million and Mrs. Jacobs was awarded $3.96 million for “loss of services, support, affection, companionship, and consortium of her husband.”

A Yellow Cab attorney said the taxi was not operated or owned by the company and that the company would appeal the jury’s verdict.

The Jacobs’ attorney said he thought the bankruptcy filing was a premeditated plan to avoid being accountable and responsible because it was filed so soon after the jury’s verdict. The attorney also said that the bankruptcy puts the Jacobs’ in a limbo by making them creditors of the company. The verdict was read in court around 7pm. Court did not adjourn until 8pm.

The bankruptcy filing by the cab company stops the Jacobs’ from collecting on the jury award until the bankruptcy has been settled. Yellow cab stated in bankruptcy documents that is doesn’t have the assets to pay $26 million to the Jacobs’. Their assets are estimated between $1 million and $10 million. The documents do not show if Yellow Cab has any secured creditors who have claims against company assets. The jury award is listed as a secured claim in the bankruptcy filing.

Court documents state that the company is owned by Yellow Group, a limited liability company. Yellow Group is controlled by Michael Levine of New York and Patton Corrigan of Florida. Levine bought an interest in Yellow cab back in 2005.

The Jacob’s attorney has said that as a result of the crash, Mrs. Jacobs has become the main breadwinner and they were forced to move to California for her job. Mr. Jacobs does volunteer work at a local hospital. He counsels veterans and children who suffer from brain trauma injuries.

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