Posted On: August 12, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

St. Charles, Illinois Car Accident Survivor Sues Teen Driver and His Father for Personal Injury

A 17-year-old Illinois teenager who survived a catastrophic St. Charles car accident is suing the driver and his dad for personal injury. Chelsea Mertz is seeking damages over $50,000 for her brain injury and broken jaw.

On June 17, Mertz and three teenagers were riding in a sport utility vehicle driven by 18-year-old Onofrio Lorusso (also known as Josh) when the SUV went off the road, hitting two trees. West Chicago resident Cameron Godee, 17, died from her injuries.

Because of the Illinois SUV accident, Mertz’s jaw was surgically shut. Because she underwent brain surgery, she has had to undergo rehabilitative therapy. It is unclear at this time whether there will be any permanent effects from her traumatic brain injury.

According to Mertz’s Illinois car accident complaint, Lorusso was driving on the wrong side of the road, going over 40 miles above the speed limit, as well as high and drunk. Mertz is also suing Lorusso’s father, who has the same name as his son, for allowing Josh to drive the teenagers home that night even though he’d been drinking.

The lawsuit contends that Lorusso’s father knew that his son had a history of driving while under the influence. Also named as a defendant in the Illinois personal injury lawsuit is Active Concrete. The company belongs to Lorusso’s father and the car involved in the auto accident was registered in its name.

Police say Lorusso’s blood alcohol content was over three times the legal drinking limit. The teen driver also tested positive for marijuana. He is charged with 4 counts of reckless homicide and 12 counts of aggravated DUI.

Suit filed in fatal St. Charles crash, Suburban Chicago News, August 7, 2009

Injured passenger sues driver in fatal STC crash, The Chronicle, August 6, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Traumatic Brain Injury, CDC

Broken Jaw, EmedicineHealth

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