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Miedema v. United States

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

July 9, 2019

SHIRLEY MIEDEMA, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          GARY FEINERMAN, JUDGE

         Shirley Miedema brought this suit against the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”), 28 U.S.C. § 2671 et seq., alleging that a U.S. Postal Service minivan hit her while she was riding her bicycle in a crosswalk. Docs. 1, 13, 18. The court held a bench trial. Docs. 46-48. Pursuant to Civil Rule 52(a), the court enters the following Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law. To the extent that any Findings of Fact may be considered Conclusions of Law, they shall be deemed Conclusions of Law, and vice versa. After carefully considering the evidence and assessing the witnesses' credibility, the court finds that Miedema is more than 50 percent at fault for her injury and therefore enters judgment in favor of the United States.

         Findings of Fact

         A. The Intersection

          1. The intersection of 14th Street and Harlem Avenue in Berwyn, Illinois is a T-intersection, such that westbound drivers on 14th Street may turn either left or right onto Harlem. Doc. 46, Alas Testimony.

         2. Westbound traffic on 14th Street is controlled by a stop sign at the intersection with Harlem. Ibid.; id., Miedema Testimony.

         3. There is a thick white stop line on the westbound side of 14th Street at the intersection. Id., Miedema Testimony; id., Alas Testimony.

         4. Between the stop line and Harlem is a marked crosswalk. Id., Miedema Testimony; id., Alas Testimony.

         5. To see whether it is clear to turn onto Harlem, drivers on 14th Street need to pull up beyond the stop line. Id., Alas Testimony.

         B. The Incident

         6. On November 3, 2016 at around 3 p.m., Miedema was riding her bicycle southbound on the sidewalk on the east side of Harlem toward 14th Street. Id., Miedema Testimony.

         7. At the same time, postal carrier Edgar Alas was driving westbound in a postal minivan on 14th Street toward Harlem. Id., Alas Testimony.

         8. Alas reached the intersection before Miedema. Ibid.; id., Miedema Testimony.

         9. Alas stopped at the thick white stop line. Id. ...


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