Ten Million Dollar Wrongful Death Settlement on Behalf of the Family of a 48 Year Old Husband and Father
Ten Million Dollar Wrongful Death Settlement on Behalf of the Family of a 48 Year Old Husband and Father:
Phillips Law Offices is incredibly pleased to report that attorneys Stephen D. Phillips and Stephen J. Phillips recently secured a $10,000,000 settlement for the wrongful death of a 48 year
old man who was killed by the driver of a box truck in September of 2018. In the early morning hours of September 14, 2018, the plaintiff, a 48 year old maintenance technician was on his way to work in the Chicagoland area when he pulled over to assist the driver of a disabled limousine that was sticking partially into the travel lane. Our client, along with another Good Samaritan,
attempted to help the limousine driver move the limousine off of the roadway. During that time, dozens of other vehicles safely went around the disabled limousine.
At approximately 4:55 a.m., the defendant driver, operating a company box truck, came careening down the roadway and collided with the disabled limousine, catapulting our client over 60 feet in the air into a nearby marsh, killing him. Tellingly, the defendant’s GPS data showed that the defendant was traveling 46 miles per hour at the time of impact and made no attempt to brake until after impact. The responding police officers noted that there were no skid marks on the pavement to indicate braking until after impact.
We argued that the defendant driver failed to keep a proper lookout and failed to reduce speed to avoid the collision. We spent dozens of hours analyzing surveillance video from nearby
businesses to show that approximately 98 other vehicles successfully saw and went around the limousine in the 15-20 minutes before the collision.
The defendants retained two expert witnesses who opined that the defendant driver acted reasonably in the short amount of time he had to see and react to the hazard. They also argued
that our client, the Good Samaritan, was responsible for the accident by putting “himself into harm’s way” by stopping to assist a fellow driver.
The decedent was survived by his wife of 28 years, four adult children, and two grandchildren. He was a devoted husband, compassionate human being, and loving father, who went out of his
way to serve his community, including friends and strangers. A first generation immigrant, he came to America and established a life for himself, working two jobs to earn money. He was an
extremely hard worker, who took great pride in getting to work early and staying late. His four children are all successful young adults who work in helping professions. They attribute their
desire to help others to the guidance and morals passed down by their dad.
Throughout the discovery process, there were over twenty depositions taken and two dozen court appearances. The case was handled primarily by Stephen J. Phillips. When asked about the case,
Stephen commented, “the defendants spent almost 5 years refusing to accept responsibility for their driver’s actions. They pointed the finger at everybody else including the limo driver and our
client. They tried to blame our client, the Good Samaritan, for helping another person who was in trouble on the roadway. Early in the case, the defense told us ‘they had a trick up their sleeve’
that would swing the case in their favor. Meanwhile, we just kept taking depositions, working up the case, and preparing it for trial. It is an incredible feeling to be able to help such a remarkable
family get closure after such a tragic event.” – Stephen J. Phillips The defendants initially offered $500,000 to settle the case.
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