A Cook County jury has awarded $2.25 million in damages to a bicyclist who was hit by a police cruiser in Norwood Park nearly five years ago.
After a three-day trial, jurors late last week held the city of Chicago and veteran officer Patrick Cain liable for a 2017 collision that sent plaintiff Alexander Garber sprawling onto the hood of Cain’s police SUV. Cain left Garber at the scene after the crash and did not report the incident to his superiors, according to court filings.
A spokeswoman for the city Law Department declined to comment Tuesday.
Cain was on-duty and behind the wheel of a Chicago Police SUV when he struck Garber around 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 17, 2017 at the intersection of West Bryn Mawr and North Oriole avenues, near Oriole Park. Cain got out of his vehicle and asked Garber if he was hurt and needed an ambulance, according to the lawsuit.
Garber told the officer he was hurt, but did not want an ambulance, the lawsuit states. He suffered injuries to his shoulders that have required two surgeries to date, according to a statement from his attorneys. Cain did not deny hitting Garber in depositions before the trial, according to court filings.
Cain, a 27-year CPD veteran, did not notify his superiors of the crash or report the damage to his vehicle, a violation of department policy.
Chicago Police began an internal investigation when an officer who used the car a few days later reported a large dent in the hood, and recommended Cain be fired. The officer did not attend the trial, according to a press release from Garber’s attorneys, Michael Sorich and Marc McCallister.
The lawsuit states Cain was terminated from the department, but spokesmen for the department did not immediately respond when asked for the date and whether Cain was fired or retired.