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Clifford Law Files Case in Death of Three-Year-Old on Bike; COMED and City of Chicago Among Defendants

Clifford Law Offices filed a lawsuit Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, on behalf of the Shambrook family for the death of their three-year-old girl who died while they were biking on a residential street in a bike lane in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood.

Elizabeth Grace “Lily” Shambrook was killed in June when she was bike riding with her dad and mom who were forced into the traffic lane by a Commonwealth Edison (COMED) truck that was blocking the marked bicycle lane near the intersection of Leland and Winthrop avenues. A Mondelez 18-wheeler was next to the COMED truck at a busy intersection where construction work was going on at Winthrop.

Among the defendants are COMED, Mondelez, Penske, and the City of Chicago. The complaint filed in the Law Division of the Cook County Circuit Court alleges negligence on the part of the corporations and their drivers, as well as willful and wanton misconduct on the part of the city. COMED was issued a city permit that specifically stated the company was allowed to stage vehicles and equipment on the adjoining street, Winthrop, yet the large utility truck was parked on Leland.

Lily’s parents, Tim Shambrook and Kate Snow, are devastated by the loss of their daughter and are determined to make the biking community safer so their little girl’s death wasn’t in vain.

In December 2022, the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance, introduced by Ald. Andre Vasquez of the 40th Ward in Uptown, that requires signage advising that a bike lane is closed when a city permit or any type of ongoing work results in the closure of the bike lane. It also requires signage warning vehicles to yield to bicyclists. The new ordinance also empowers employees of the city’s Department of Finance to ticket, tow, and impound vehicles driving, standing, or parking in bike lanes.

Just weeks after Lily’s death, the City of Chicago announced an aggressive plan to construct concrete barriers along every bike lane by the end of 2023 that would be similar to a curb so as to prevent drivers from even entering bicycle lanes.

Clifford Law Offices, in Chicago, is representing Lily’s parents by investigating what occurred at about 8:15 a.m. on June 9, 2022, on Leland, a designated Greenway.

“The City of Chicago issued a permit to COMED without adequate concern for the size and amount of heavy equipment that would be brought into the neighborhood, or where their vehicles actually would be parked,” said Robert A. Clifford, founder and senior partner of the firm. “We all co-exist in a society where it takes cooperation and concern for others who need to do their jobs to ensure that senseless tragedies like this cease. That concern was missing here. The flagrant and repeated disregard for the safety of bicyclists and lack of respect for designated bike lanes by operators of trucks and vehicles create deadly hazards that simply cannot be tolerated.”

Press Conference 3 P.M. Tuesday, January 17, 2023

CLIFFORD LAW OFFICES HELD A PRESS CONFERENCE TUESDAY, JANUARY 17, AT 3:00 P.M. AT THE FIRM, 120 N. LASALLE ST., 36th FLOOR, CHICAGO. ATTORNEYS WERE ON HAND TO ANSWER QUESTIONS AND PRESENTED VARIOUS EXHIBITS INCLUDING AN ANIMATION DEPICTING THE DANGEROUS CONDITIONS THAT EXISTED ON THE MORNING OF LILY’S DEATH. A STATEMENT FROM THE FAMILY IS BELOW. THE FOUNDER OF BIKE LANE UPRISING, CHRISTINA WHITEHOUSE, A PROMINENT ORGANIZATION BASED IN CHICAGO, WAS ON HAND TO DISCUSS BIKE SAFETY ISSUES IN CHICAGO.

For further information, please contact Clifford Law Offices Communications Partner Pamela Sakowicz Menaker at 847-721-0909 (cell).

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