Illinois state trooper’s widow settles wrongful death case

Those in law enforcement often put their lives in jeopardy. Personal injury is a risk every day; it is the nature of the job. For one Illinois state trooper, a stop on the side of Interstate 294 proved deadly.

In March 2013, the trooper was parked on the shoulder of the interstate when a semi-truck driver allegedly fell asleep and crashed into the back of the trooper’s patrol vehicle. The impact of the crash caused the patrol car to explode into flames. The trooper died from “thermal injuries” according to the Cook County medical examiner.

The wife of the trooper filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver, United Van Lines LLC, Barrett Moving & Storage, and Unigroup Inc. The driver is already facing criminal charges because he allegedly violated safety laws that are supposed to keep truck drivers who are tired off the nation’s roadways. One of those laws prohibits “drivers on duty more than 14 hours from driving without getting 10 hours of rest.” The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration fined United Van Lines and the driver for the violation.

According to reports, the lawsuit has now been settled for $10.9 million. The settlement is with all of the parties that were named as defendants and was actually reached through mediation several months ago. It has already been approved by the court.

While this settlement will relieve the widow of some of the stress of an upcoming trial, it also will provide financial stability and help with monetary losses experienced as a result of the accident. However, the money won’t ever be able to replace her husband.

Source: Chicago Sun Times, “Widow gets $10.9 mil. settlement after state trooper’s death” Maudlyne Ihejirika, May. 14, 2014

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