1.16 Million Jury Verdict For Rollover Car Accident that Followed Rear-End Truck Crash; Daft v. Jefferson Trucking Company, et al.

In June 2009, two trucks on westbound Interstate 80 crashed near or on the right shoulder of the highway. The driver of a second tractor trailer for Jefferson Trucking Co., also on westbound 80, crashed into the rear end of the stopped truck operated by Randolph Ferguson, who was driving for Cresco Lines. The force of the two trucks moved the lead truck 1,200 to 1,500 feet farther down the highway, leaving debris and motor fluids on the roadway.

The plaintiff, Patty Lunn, who was also driving westbound on Interstate 80, came upon the accident scene. The Lunn vehicle skidded on the oily residue left by the trucks, her car became airborne and rolled over three times striking the top of the concrete overpass and median crash barrels before finally coming to rest on the median strip.

Plaintiff Janet Daft, Lunn’s passenger, sustained a collapsed lung and fractured vertebrae to her spine at C-2 and C-3, requiring cervical fusion. Daft already had osteoporosis, but will require future medical treatment as the fusion loosens due to the weakening of her bones. Both Lunn and Daft are school teachers.

Defendant truck driver Zenner suffered a broken leg. Zenner, driving for Jefferson Trucking, asserted that Ferguson, driving for Cresco Lines, was guilty of having no working lights on his trailer and moving at a speed that was dangerous for approaching vehicles.

The defense for Ferguson/Cresco Lines argued that Zenner/Jefferson Trucking was traveling too fast for conditions. Before trial, the defendants’ offers were $400,000 to Janet Daft and $30,000 to Patty Lunn.

The jury verdict was $1,162,000 in total; $1,057,000 to Janet Daft and $105,000 to Patty Lunn.

The jury verdict of $1,057,000 in favor of Janet Daft was made up of the following damages:

  • $500,000 for disability;
  • $300,000 for pain and suffering;
  • $247,000 for medical expenses; and
  • $10,000 for disfigurement.

The jury’s verdict of $105,000 to Patty Lunn was made up of these damages:

  • $75,000 for pain and suffering; and
  • $30,000 for medical expenses.

The jury apportioned liability at 55 percent as to Randolph Ferguson and Cresco Lines and 45 percent to Joseph Zenner and Jefferson Trucking.

The attorneys for Daft and Lunn were Anthony C. Raccuglia and James A. McPhedran.

Janet Daft, Patty Lunn v. Joseph F. Zenner, Jefferson Trucking Company, Randolph Ferguson, Cresco Lines, Inc., 09 L 144 (LaSalle County, Illinois).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling truck and car accident cases for individuals and families for more than 37 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Chicago (Garfield Park), Maywood, Melrose Park, Westchester, Countryside, Hinsdale, Worth, Chicago (Lake Calumet), Chicago (Hegwisch), Blue Island, Crestwood and Calumet City, Illinois.

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