$8.5 Million Settlement for Death of Police Officer

The family of Paul Katuszonek has agreed to a settlement with Goldstar Foods Inc.  The case involved Officer Katuszonek, who was killed in a traffic accident in 2012.  The Katuszonek family brought a wrongful death lawsuit, claiming that the food distributor and long-haul trucking company that employed the driver was the cause of the fatal crash with the police officer.   

The driver of the truck was charged with vehicular manslaughter and  gross negligence, which is a felony.  He was also charged, as a truck driver, for driving more hours than allowed under federal law.  The truck driver was on the road for 23 hours with only 4 ½ hours of rest when the truck ran into the back of the officer’s vehicle at 55 mph. 

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), truck drivers who are over tired have caused more than 100,000 accidents on American highways and roads each year.  This results in approximately 40,000 injuries and 1,500 deaths.

The truck driver in this case had falsified his driver logs to make his drive times comply with federal law.  Records from the GPS system on the Goldstar truck proved that the driver actually was driving when he was reported to be resting. 

In this case, the police officer was on his way to work after dropping off his daughter at his mother-in-law’s home.  Just before the collision, the officer stopped his vehicle on a road closure when this tragic accident occurred.

Witnesses said that the truck driver was weaving as he approached the construction zone and that he made no attempt to stop his truck until he was about 100 feet from the officer’s vehicle.  The impact of the truck with the officer’s vehicle caused his death on impact. 

The settlement of $8.5 million was reached just before the beginning of the jury trial. The attorney representing the Katuszonek family was Stephen A. Fabbro. 

Kreisman Law Offices has been successfully handling wrongful death cases, car accidents, trucking crashes and accidents and bicycle accidents for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 38 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Palatine, South Elgin, St. Charles, North Aurora, Bolingbrook, Orland Park, Cicero, Hoffman Estates, Crystal Lake, Gurnee, Woodstock, Tinley Park, Joliet, Zion and Waukegan, Ill.

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