The Third District Appellate Court of Illinois upheld a trial court’s ruling that a tractor-trailer driver and her company’s affiliates were liable for the deaths of two men and serious injuries of another.
DeAn Henry was driving a tractor-trailer full of potatoes on Interstate 55 in Plainfield, Ill., when she realized that several vehicles ahead of her were not moving. She tried to stop her truck, but was unable to do so. Henry crashed into multiple automobiles, killing Joseph Sperl and Thomas Sanders, and injuring William Taluc. She was due to deliver the potatoes to the C.H. Robinson (CHR) warehouse in Bolingbrook, Ill.
Under the doctrine of respondeat superior, the Appellate Court made CHR vicariously liable for the wrongful deaths and serious injuries. A total of $23,775,000 was awarded, with $8.75 million for Sanders, $7.25 million for Sperl, and $7.775 million for Taluc’s negligence claims.
“Tragically, the demands of one’s job and distractions on the road can result in needless deaths and injuries,” said Chicago car accident attorney and SuperLawyer Paul A. Greenberg, Esq.
The CHR warehouse where Henry was supposed to deliver the goods had a storage facility designed to store perishable goods, such as potatoes, before they are transported to their final destination. The potatoes were ultimately to be delivered to Jewel-Osco grocery stores. Henry was in frequent contact with CHR throughout the trip, as the company had strict rules and fines if goods were not delivered on time.
She testified that “she would not have been able to deliver the load to the Bolingbrook warehouse within CHR’s schedule without violating federal regulations.” CHR would also ultimately pay her if she successfully transported the goods. The appellate court ruled that because of CHR’s heavy involvement in, and control of, DeAn’s work, she was an agent of CHS rather than an independent contractor.
“In addition to determining who is at fault for an accident, it is essential to be able to identify all parties who may be financially responsible for damages,” said Greenberg, who practices at Briskman Briskman & Greenberg along with a team of accomplished Chicago car accident lawyers. “A good lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation in order to pinpoint everything and everyone that caused an accident.”
To learn more, visit https://briskmanandbriskman.com or call 877-595-HURT (4878)