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Suit over injury from a flying body part can go forward, Illinois court says

A "gory and creepy" lawsuit over an injury caused by a flying body part can go forward in Chicago, an Illinois appeals court has ruled.

The tragic case stems from a 2008 morning commuter accident at the Edgebrook Metra station, the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday.

 Hiroyuki Joho, 18, shielding himself from pouring rain with an umbrella over his head, was hurrying to catch an inbound Metra train when he was struck by an southbound Amtrak train going more than 70 mph, the Tribune said.

The impact sent a large portion of his body flying 100 feet into Gayane Zokhrabov, then 58, who was waiting on the southbound train platform, the Tribune said. Joho's body part knocked Zokhrabov to the floor, breaking her leg and wrist and injuring her shoulder.

Zokhrabov sued Joho's estate, but a Cook County judge ruled that Joho could not have anticipated her injuries, the Tribune said.

A state appeals court, however, disagreed, ruling that "it was reasonably forseeable" that the high-speed train would kill Joho and fling his body toward the people waiting on the platform.

Zokhrabov's lawyer, Leslie Rosen, told the Tribune that while the case was "very peculiar and gory and creepy," it was straightforward negligence on Joho's part.

Joho's mother, the Tribune said, sued Metra and Canadian Pacific Railway, claiming they were negligent by not announcing a Metra delay, which led to Joho's accident when he mistook which train was his.

The Tribune said Park's attorney Keith Davidson told the newspaper he is appealing to the Illinois Supreme Court a Cook County judge's ruling that the railroads had no duty to warn about such an "open and obvious danger" as a moving train.

The Tribune cited three other cases, including one settled for an undisclosed amount after a train struck a woman who was following her sister across the Edgebrook tracks two months after Joho's death.

In 1951, a postal worker successfully sued after being hit by the body of an elderly woman in Momence, Ill., who was struck by a train that was found to have been operating at an unsafe speed, the Tribune said.

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