Thursday, August 12, 2010

IL Tow Truck Driver's Family Settles For $1.5 Million

Here's the story from the News Tribune:
The family of a tow truck driver killed in a 2008 crash has settled a wrongful death lawsuit with a trucker and his employer for $1.5 million.
Marie Waite had sued driver Mark D. Boehm of Spring Valley and Double D Express for the accident that killed her son, 49-year-old William B. Waite, on June 23, 2008. Monday, Marie Waite settled.
William Waite died while he and Christian Henninger were assisting a broken down tractor-trailer on Interstate 80, 3½ miles east of Utica. They were struck from behind by an eastbound semi driven by Boehm, according to the lawsuit filed in 2009.
Henninger survived the crash and filed a separate lawsuit against Boehm and Double D. He settled in June for $3 million.
Plaintiff’s attorney Stephen D. Phillips of Chicago said the Waite family opted to settle rather than pursue a judgment that could have bankrupted Double D and worsened the area’s unemployment.
“Rather than insisting on receiving full compensation for the Waites’ business losses and potentially cause Double D Express to cease operations, the Waites chose to accept $1.5 million to settle their claim,” Phillips said. “It is extremely important to the Waites, lifetime residents of the Illinois Valley, not to jeopardize the continued viability of Double D Express Inc. and the jobs of the employees of the company.
“The unselfish decision by the Waites was made in spite of the fact that their own 49-year-old business ceased operations because of the death of William Waite Jr. and the unwise decisions made by certain people at Double D Express in not buying adequate liability insurance.”
Joseph Skryd, attorney for Boehm and Double D, disputed Phillips’ characterization of Double D’s insurance coverage. Illinois law requires $1 million in coverage, and Double D in fact had $4 million in coverage, he said.

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