Ogle County Jury Awards Second Largest Personal Injury Verdict In Ogle County History Of $5.5 Million For The Injuries Sustained By A 58 Year Old Female And The Death Of Her 60 Year Old Husband In A Trucking Accident
An Ogle County jury returned a $5.5 million verdict for the severe injuries sustained by a 58 year old female and the death of her 60 year old husband as a result of a collision between their motorcycle and a semi-tractor trailer. On April 23, 2008, the Plaintiff and her husband were on their way to work on their motorcycle traveling eastbound on Route 38 near the entrance ramp for Interstate 39.
Defendant, Gerald Hemker, was an employee of Defendant, Service Partners, LLC, operating a semi-tractor trailer westbound on Route 38. Defendant Hemker attempted to turn left onto the southbound ramp for Interstate 39 in front of the motorcycle being operated by the Plaintiff’s husband and on which the Plaintiff was a passenger. The motorcycle struck the semi-tractor trailer near the middle on the passenger side of the truck.
The Plaintiff’s husband sustained multiple blunt trauma injuries to his head, chest, and pelvis which led to his death on April 23, 2008. The decedent left surviving him, his wife and two adult children.
The Plaintiff sustained severe and permanent injuries including multiple pelvic fractures with disruption of the pelvic circle, closed fracture of more than eight ribs, closed fracture of her sacrum or coccyx, numerous contusions, and a pneumothorax. As a result of her injuries, the Plaintiff has undergone numerous orthopedic surgeries, has permanent drop foot, and is required to use supportive devices.
The verdict the jury awarded is the second largest personal injury verdict in Ogle County history. The jury awarded $5,000,000.00 to the Plaintiff for her disfigurement, her loss of a normal life, her pain and suffering, her emotional distress, for services received, and for the present cash value of future services needed. The jury awarded the estate of the decedent $1,000,000.00 for the loss of the decedent’s services, loss of his society, pain and suffering, and grief and sorrow, but then found the decedent to be 50% contributorily negligent thus reducing the award to the estate of the decedent to $500,000.00.
The Plaintiff was represented by Joseph A. Power, Jr., and the Estate of the Decedent was represented by Todd A. Smith of Power Rogers Gerald Hemker and Service Partners, LLC was represented by James D. Ellman of Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson, & Feary, L.L.P., Walter C. Greenough of Schiff Hardin, LLP, and Clayton L. Lindsey of Williams McCarthy, LLP.