In Cook County, Chicago, a man has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a truck driver and his employer, claiming that the driver was operating his vehicle at an excessive speed when he hit and killed the man’s brother. The victim’s brother, Don Sharpe, filed a wrongful death lawsuit individually and as special administrator of the estate of Eric Sharpe. The defendant is Craig S. Ligekis of Melrose Park; he is an agent or employee of Benjamin Moore and Company and Ryder Truck Rentals.
The complaint alleges that on April 8, 2015, Ligekis was operating a Benjamin Moore truck on Interstate Highway 55 in Plainfield when he struck 47-year-old Eric Sharpe, who was driving a Chrysler Sebring sedan. According to the lawsuit, Ligekis was driving too fast, and neglected to keep his vehicle at a sufficient distance from Sharpe’s vehicle.
Don Sharpe is seeking damages in excess of $50,000 as compensation for the surviving family members, as well as court costs.
In this case, the truck driver’s employer was likely vicariously liable for the negligent behavior of its truck driver while he was carrying out his duties, or acting within the scope of his employment. This is called vicarious liability, which arises under the doctrine of respondeat superior.
However, if the truck driver was not performing his work responsibilities at the time at which he was driving, but was driving for personal reasons, then he was engaged in a “detour” or “frolic,” in which case the employer will not be held liable. In order for the employer to be held liable for the employee’s actions, the employee must be in the process of performing an act that was authorized by the employer.
If you know someone who was killed in a motor vehicle accident due to the negligence or willful misconduct of another person, you should consult a wrongful death attorney.
Paul Greenberg is a Chicago work accidents and wrongful death lawyer with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call 1.877.595.4878 or visit https://briskmanandbriskman.com/.