Lawsuit filed on behalf of 2 passengers injured in deadly I-90 limo crash

ELGIN, Ill. (WLS) -- A lawsuit has been filed in a deadly limo crash on I-90 in Elgin on behalf of two injured passengers.

"We are going to look at every avenue to uncover why this happened and who may be culpable for this horrible tragedy," said Attorney Tim Cavanagh.

The lawsuit names both the driver and Lyons Limousine.

"The limousine company knew this driver and their enterprise posed an imminent safety hazard to the public on the day they sent this 20-year-old driver, who had no driver's license, had no CDL license, a commercial driver's license, and had a history of five convictions in the past," Cavanaugh said.

Terri Schmidt, 53, was killed when the limo heading from Wisconsin to O'Hare International Airport rolled over on eastbound I-90 around 7:15 a.m. on March 25.

The 20-year-old driver told police he was blinded by the sun and couldn't see the traffic pattern in front of him. He crashed into a concrete divider, which caused the limo to flip onto its roof.

Robert Rosa, 53, suffered severe injuries in the crash. He remains hospitalized in very critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit. His partner, 45-year-old Michael Johnson, was also hurt.

Attorneys said Wednesday the crash left one of those passengers with a spinal cord injury that will affect him for the rest of his life.

"He had a very, very significant spinal cord surgery yesterday," Cavanagh said. "He has another coming up tomorrow. So the medical bills are going to be astronomical."

Federal authorities revealed Tuesday they shut down Lyons Limousine, of Edgerton, Wisconsin, after the deadly crash exposed several violations.

"It is certainly very rare," said Cavanagh of the federal response. "It tells how troubling the conduct of this limousine company was. It is nice to see the government issue an order this quickly for the safety of our society."

The U.S. Department of Transportation said the driver was not old enough to cross state lines as a commercial driver. He was also driving on a suspended license.

Lyons Limousine was also not carrying liability insurance required by law. The company has not commented.
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