Suppression of Evidence Leads to $20 Million Settlement in Drunk Driving/Wrongful Death Case

A disturbing case in Chicago involving the suppression of records about a man who caused a drunk driving accident that killed two young men has resulted in a $20 million settlement from the City of Chicago to the family of the victims.

In this issue, we’ll talk more about the case and the specifics of why you need a skilled and dogged Alaska personal injury lawyer on your side to obtain justice on your behalf.

The Case at a Glance

The drunk driver who caused the incident was an off-duty police detective who had been drinking for about five hours (!) at two bars before getting behind the wheel of his SUV. While driving at a high rate of speed, he slammed into the back of one of the victim’s car, killing both victims.

Here’s where the disturbing parts of the story come into play.

  • After being pulled from the wreckage by a Samaritan, the drunk driver left the scene on foot but was found by officers who had been called to investigate the wreck. His blood alcohol content was 0.328 – over four times the legal limit.
  • A state trooper who was in the process of arresting the drunk driver at the hospital could not because a high-ranking Chicago police officer intervened. The drunk driver even said to the trooper, “I wasn’t driving; did you find the other guy?” He was eventually charged and convicted of aggravated DUI and leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
  • During the eventual wrongful death trial, there was confirmation the City of Chicago withheld documentation about numerous complaints made against the detective, including a previous drunk driving incident that involved no field sobriety test.

When the jury became aware of the withheld documents, attorneys for the City of Chicago sought a sidebar discussion with the families’ attorneys. Roughly 10 minutes later, the settlement was in place and the case was over.

Why it Literally Pays to Have Determined Legal Representation

There can be little doubt that the grit and determination of the personal injury lawyer representing the victims’ family was the driving force for securing the settlement. Without his pressing to have the withheld documents eventually released, its likely there would have been no settlement.

If a loved one has lost their life because of someone else’s negligence, call the wrongful death attorneys at Barber & Associates.

Losing a loved one is never easy – especially if the loss results from a sudden accident because of someone else’s negligence. If you have experienced what you feel to be a wrongful death in your family, know that Barber & Associates is one of Alaska’s leading wrongful death firms. We can secure compensation to cover medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of consortium and more.

For a free interview, call us at 907.276.5858 or get in touch vial email.

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