Kevin P. Durkin and Colin H. Dunn, partners at Clifford Law Offices, obtained a $22.7 million verdict on behalf of widow and son whose young husband was killed in a trucking accident four years ago.
A jury in Cook County Circuit Court reached the record result in favor of Theresa Swenson, now 31, of Chicago following a two-week trial in the Daley Center before Judge Thomas Lipscomb. The verdict of $10 million for grief and sorrow ties a previous record in Cook County set for that category, according to John Kirkton of the Jury Verdict Reporter. The jury also awarded $10 million for loss of society. It is the largest wrongful death verdict in the county in more than a decade.
The case involved a speeding truck driver who had drugs in his system and slammed into the back of Aaron Swenson's car stopped in a construction zone on Interstate 294 on May 22, 2012, crashing him into the truck in front of him. The speeding truck driver, Adam Troy, who worked for Hussmann Corporation of Missouri, had a history of speeding tickets.
"The case is a very sad one. The loss of this young husband and father was senseless," Durkin said following the verdict.
The five-man-seven-woman jury deliberated just three hours before reaching the verdict.
"This incident occurred just before 8 o'clock in the morning," said Dunn. "That means this driver most likely started out his day in an impaired condition and ended the life of an innocent man. It's a devastating loss for his family."