Woman files lawsuit over cab crash

February 25, 2010 8:39:37 AM PST
A woman badly injured in an accident involving a Chicago taxi driver has filed a lawsuit. The victim says key evidence from the Ford Crown Victoria cab that may explain how the crash happened is missing.

Doctors say it is nothing short of a miracle that Joyce Kilburg is able to walk with her husband today, five months after the crash that put her in a coma for several weeks and nearly took her life.

"One of the doctors asked me if I wanted to take her off life support. She said, 'the chances of Joyce surviving are less than one percent,'" said Dan Kilburg, husband.

"I can't even express in words how hard it's been," said Joyce Kilburg.

Joyce was riding in a cab when the driver lost control on Sheridan Road in front of the Loyola University campus and slammed into a tree. The cab driver told investigators the car took off on its own. She had just left a party for the premiere of the Vince Vaughn movie Couples Retreat.

"I hopped in a cab, and I called my husband and I said, 'I'll be home in abou 10 to 15 minutes.' And that is the last thing I remember," said Joyce Kilberg.

She woke up in the hospital nearly a month later and has been in rehab ever since.

"The medical bills are approaching a million dollars already. She is still in daily rehab. And that is going to continue," said Dan Kotin, attorney.

Kilburg's attorney wanted to check out the story that the car suddenly accelerated on its own. But they say when investigators looked for the car's event data recorder or black box it was gone.

"How does something like that go missing?" asked Dan Kilburg.

The cab driver told ABC7 that he is willing to take a polygraph test to back up his version that the car suddenly accelerated and when he tried the brakes they failed as well. As for the black box, he says he was unaware cars are even equipped with such a thing.

Read Kilburg's lawsuit