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Lawsuit against truck driver and trucking company alleges wrongful death

Whether a death is caused by a fatal accident, medical malpractice or product liability, when harm comes to a loved one because of someone else's negligence, an entire family suffers. Such is the case with an Illinois State Trooper, who was killed last November while he was conducting a traffic stop.

The family of the 32-year-old trooper filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the semi driver who struck him, and the trucking company that employed the driver at the time of the accident.

The lawsuit, filed Jan. 9 on behalf of the trooper's widow, names the driver, alleging that he knew he was "medically unfit" to operate the tractor-trailer he was driving at the time of the accident, according to court documents. The driver allegedly blacked out and lost control of the truck. He hit the trooper, who was on an interstate highway shoulder, killing him.

The lawsuit also names the trucking company, claiming that the company let the man drive the truck, even though he was an "imminent danger to the public" because of his medical condition.

A spokesperson for the trooper's family reportedly said that trucking companies put unsafe, cross-country drivers behind the wheel of semi trucks, because commercially licensed drivers are in such great demand, and making sure they are healthy enough to drive would cost the company too much money.

The trooper leaves behind his wife and their two small children.

While a wrongful death lawsuit cannot bring back a loved one after a tragedy, it can bring some justice by holding the negligent parties responsible for the irreparable harm they have caused the family. The suit also can provide financial compensation for the family, who has lost not only the love and support of a husband and a father, or other family member, but the individual's income and benefits over his or her lifetime.

Source: Belleville News-Democrat, "Trooper's family files wrongful death suit," Beth Hundsdorfer, Jan. 9, 2013

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