A $38.3 million verdict was returned March 26 by a Cook County Circuit Court jury on behalf of a west suburban family who was tragically devastated by a multiple truck-car crash on I-90 near Rockford in 1999.
The three-man-nine-woman jury deliberated five days before rendering the verdict against three trucking firms who caused the pile-up Feb. 12 five years ago.
Four year old Teagan Yoder was killed when the car in which she and her family were traveling was crushed. Her two year old brother, Zachary, suffered permanent brain damage requiring round-the-clock care.
Kevin P. Durkin, partner at Clifford Law Offices, represented Zachary, Tegan and their mother, Jerelyn, who sustained severe injuries to her skull and face requiring 31 surgeries.
The breakdown of the damages by the jury was $27.5 million to Zachary, $3.5 million to the estate of Teagan and $7.5 million to Jerelyn. Richard L. Pullano, of Richard L. Pullano Law Offices in Chicago, represented the father, Scott Yoder, the driver of their car who received no damages.
"So many lives were dramatically changed - worsened - because of what happened that tragic day," said Durkin. "We are thankful that this jury awarded sufficient damages to take care of Zachary for the rest of his life."
The case was tried before Judge Daniel M. Locallo of the Cook County Circuit Court at the Daley Center. The defendants were Ro-Mar Transportation, Inc., Single Source Transportation Company, The Midland Grocery Company of Chicago and Kee Transport of Westville, Indiana.