CTA Driver Burned by Coffee-Throwing Rider

A CTA bus driver was performing his job on Friday evening when an irate passenger threw hot coffee on him, seriously burning the driver’s face. The incident occurred near the Jefferson Park transit center on the north side around 10:00 p.m.

The CTA driver was operating a bus on the 85A/North Central Avenue route and was in service but was stationary at the terminal when a male passenger boarded the bus. The passenger accused the driver of failing to pick him up earlier; though the driver attempted to explain that the passenger had not been at a designated stop and therefore the driver did not know the man wanted to be picked up, the passenger did not except the driver’s explanation. Enraged, the passenger took a cup of hot liquid, believed to be coffee, and threw it in the driver’s face.

The driver was taken to Resurrection Medical Center but was later transferred to Loyola University Medical Center to receive treatment in the burn unit. The driver’s current condition is not known but authorities have stated that the driver suffered second degree burns to his face, scalp, and arm that may result in permanent scarring. The passenger is currently being held in lieu of $250,000 bail.

Police responded to the incident and arrested the 32-year-old male passenger. He has been charged with aggravated battery to a transit employee and aggravated battery causing great bodily harm. After his arrest, police say the suspect admitted attempting to flag down the bus but falling and injuring himself. The man said this angered him and led to his rage aboard the bus that culminated with him throwing his coffee. The CTA has said the incident was caught on security camera.

In this case, the CTA driver was obeying the rules and regulations set forth by the Chicago Transit Authority and was just performing his job when he was injured by the intentional actions of a passenger. Cases like this leave employees injured and hurt, often unable to work. Some of these injuries may be permanent. To protect employees, the law allows workers to bring claims when they are hurt on the job.

If you have been hurt while you were working, you may have a claim for your injuries, regardless of who was at fault. The law allows you to recover for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and may even provide you with a lump sum payout. Workers’ compensation law can be confusing and these cases can be difficult. This makes it a good idea to contact a personal injury lawyer to learn about your rights and whether you have a case.

At Abels & Annes, P.C., we are Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers with experience representing CTA employees. We have represented a number of CTA employees who work in many different positions. As a result, we understand how the CTA works and we know how to effectively bring a workers’ compensation claim against them. If you have been injured, call us today at (312) 924-7575 and let us provide you with a free telephone consultation. We are standing by 24 hours a day to take your call so please contact us today. Let us help you get a recovery you deserve.

Prior Blog Entries:

2-Year-Old Boy Dies after Drowning in Bartlett Pool, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published June 22, 2013.

Driver Flees after Hitting Boy, 13, in Aurora, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published June 21, 2013.


Man held on $250K after bus driver hit by hot coffee, by Geoff Ziezulewicz, Chicago Tribune, published June 23, 2013.

Irate CTA passenger burns bus driver with hot coffee, by Liam Ford, Chicago Tribune, published June 22, 2013.

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