Last month, Power Rogers Partners Joe Power Jr., Sean Houlihan, and Robert Thomas recovered a $25.2 million settlement for the family of a tow truck driver who was killed while assisting a motorist on the side of Interstate 80 in Iowa.
As reported by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, the 29-year-old victim had been working for a Des Moines-based tow service when he was called to assist a disabled tractor-trailer that had pulled over onto the shoulder of I-80 in Poweshiek County due to a malfunctioning engine. The victim parked in front of the stalled semi while another coworker, who arrived an hour later in a bobtail (a tractor with no trailer), parked behind the stalled semi in the shoulder.
While the victim was standing between the vehicles, another tractor-trailer traveling west on I-80 sideswiped the bobtail, jackknifed, and crashed into the back of the stalled semi. The collision pushed the semi forward into the victim and his tow truck, killing him at the scene.
Attorneys Joe Power Jr., Sean Houlihan, and Robert Thomas filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the victim’s wife against the trucking company which operated the stalled semi-truck the victim had been helping (Howe Freightways) and the trucking company which operated the tractor-trailer that collided with the vehicles (Hiner Transport).
The case was initially tried in Cook County Circuit Court in 2017 and resulted in a $19 million verdict in favor of the Plaintiff. After an appeal from the defense resulted in the verdict being overturned, , the case was remanded for a new trial. Power Rogers subsequently filed a successful Motion for Summary Judgmentt and ultimately prevailed in negotiating a settlement with the two defendants for a total of $25,275,000 – over $6 million more than the initial verdict.
As Joe Power Jr. told reporters following the settlement:
“It’s been a long road and [the family] was satisfied… the amount was fair and reasonable. It was a terrible tragedy. They are happy to be moving on with their lives, as well as pay for the college education of the three kids.”
The case was covered by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.