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Clifford Law Obtains $18.15 Million Verdict on Behalf of Brain Damaged Teenager Struck by Truck

In one of the first civil trials since in-person jury trials resumed in Cook County Circuit Court, two partners at Clifford Law Offices on Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, obtained an $18.15 million verdict on behalf of an Indiana teenager who was struck by a truck as he stood on the side of the road fixing his vehicle. A press conference with the teen’s mother was held on Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, at 3:30 p.m. at Clifford Law Offices, 120 N. LaSalle St., 37th Floor, Chicago, IL.

Bradley M. Cosgrove and Jack J. Casciato, partners at Clifford Law Offices, obtained the verdict on behalf of Gustavo Cornejo, Jr., then 17-years-old of Gary, Indiana. He and his father were pulled over on the right shoulder of Interstate 394 on Sept. 27, 2016, when a tractor-trailer struck the young Cornejo, hurling him more than 30 feet in the air. He struck his head and suffered severe brain injuries as well as broken ribs and vertebrae.

Following a three-week trial before a jury of five women and seven men, the jury deliberated eight hours over two days before reaching the verdict this afternoon against all defendants, Dakota Lines trucking company of Vermillion, South Dakota and Alliance Shipper, Inc. of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

“This young man will require care the rest of his life due to something that simply shouldn’t have happened,” Cosgrove said following the verdict. “Truck drivers on the road need to understand that they can kill or seriously injure people with their large vehicles. They must be particularly aware when vehicles and their occupants are on the side of the road, and they must pull away from them to ensure a safe distance or else tragedy like this strikes.”

The case was heard before the Hon. Bridget Hughes in the Daley Center.

“This verdict is one example of the public not willing to tolerate trucking companies and their drivers not practicing safe driving habits and protocol when the safety of others on the road is at stake,” Casciato said following the verdict.

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