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CHICAGO — In just five weeks, Cavanagh Sorich Law Group obtained $11.725 million in settlements in four separate trucking lawsuits. The cases spanned four jurisdictions across three states, including Illinois, Wisconsin and Georgia.

Cavanagh Sorich Law Group has decades of experience representing clients across the United States in trucking cases. The Chicago-based personal injury firm has obtained numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. Our attorneys retain the nation’s best trucking and accident reconstruction experts to help clients get the best results.

$3 Million for Family of Motorcyclist Killed by Flatbed Truck

The most recent settlement was reached Feb. 9, 2022, when Cavanagh Sorich Law Group partners Tim Cavanagh and Michael Sorich obtained $3 million for the family of an Illinois motorcyclist who was killed when he was cut off by a flatbed truck making a left turn.

Jordan Hale, 25, was riding his motorcycle north on Rt. 25 in Elgin, Illinois, on July 8, 2016, when a southbound flatbed truck turned left in front of him at the intersection of Graham Street. Hale’s motorcycle was run over by the truck’s rear tires.

Hale, a chef and St. Charles resident, was taken to Saint Joseph Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

In an interview on the scene, the flatbed truck driver, David Odman, told a Kane County sheriff’s deputy that he saw Hale’s motorcycle before the crash. Odman told authorities he believed Hale slowed down and flashed his lights to allow the truck to turn left. When deposed, Odman later said he had no memory of making that statement.

“The truck driver admitted he saw Jordan approaching and obviously knew our client had the right of way,” Cavanagh said. “No motorcyclist ever signals a driver with their headlights to turn left in front of them. That’s absurd. The driver’s own damning admissions were important to our case and highlight just how crucial it is to hire an attorney early to preserve evidence.”

Odman was on the clock for Welch Brothers, Inc., and turning into the company’s Elgin facility lot at the time of the crash.

During discovery, Cavanagh Sorich Law Group learned there had been multiple truck crashes at that intersection. During a deposition, the company’s own safety director conceded it was a dangerous intersection. Welch Brothers, Inc., could have required its truck drivers to go to a nearby stoplight to turn into the facility — but failed to do so.

“Welch Brothers knew the intersection was dangerous and could have required its drivers to do something differently,” Sorich said. “The company could have set policies that never would have placed the truck at that intersection in the first place. That could have saved our client’s life.”

Hale was very close to his family, particularly his parents and two brothers.

“Even though one of his brothers was away in the Navy,” Sorich said, “they always kept in touch. Jordan was a creative and family-oriented young man with his whole life ahead of him. His death took a tremendous toll on his family — not just emotionally but physically and mentally, as well. No amount of money is going to bring their son and brother back, but this settlement helps the family move forward beyond this tragic chapter of their lives.”

A lawsuit in the case was initially filed in Cook County before being transferred to Kane County after an appeal on the venue choice. Cavanagh and Sorich alleged Odman failed to yield to oncoming traffic, failed to maintain control of his vehicle and turned left across traffic.

Odman was ticketed after the crash for failing to yield while turning left. The defense alleged that Hale was speeding and failed to pay proper attention.

Defense attorneys agreed to settle the $3 million case during expert discovery.

$4.175 Million for Driver in Wisconsin Tanker Truck Crash

On Jan. 10, 2022, Cavanagh and Sorich obtained a $4,175,000 settlement for a Wisconsin man who was seriously injured when his pickup truck was struck by a tanker truck.

The case was set for trial on Jan. 10, 2022, in Walworth County Circuit Court. Cavanagh and Sorich obtained the settlement immediately before jury selection.

The crash occurred on July 11, 2019, as 39-year-old Curtis Lundin drove his pickup truck on Highway 67 at County Highway K in Sharon, Wisconsin. Lundin was heading west on Highway 67 when the driver of a tanker truck going north on Highway K pulled in front of Lundin and crashed into his pickup truck. The tanker truck had a stop sign, and Lundin had the right of way.

A lawsuit filed by Cavanagh Sorich Law Group alleged the tanker truck driver, Ramon Moreno Castillo, rolled the stop sign, failed to look and failed to yield the right of way. Defense attorneys claimed Castillo came to a complete stop and looked both ways and that Lundin was traveling 10 miles over the speed limit.

Cavanagh and Sorich retained numerous experts including an accident reconstruction expert.

“By breaking down the crash second by second,” Cavanagh said, “we were able to objectively prove that our client’s pickup truck was visible to the tanker truck driver if he was paying attention. The defendant driver testified that he never saw the pickup truck before the crash — which proves that he never looked, contrary to his self-serving testimony that he looked. Our client’s devastating injuries could have been avoided if the defendant came to a complete stop and looked both ways.”

Lundin was airlifted to a hospital in Rockford, Illinois, and underwent numerous surgeries over the next two years. The lifelong Walworth County resident suffered a broken left humerus and a broken left tibial plateau. He continues to require physical therapy.

At the time of the crash, Castillo was employed by and driving the tanker truck for Delco Transport, Inc., and The Delong Co., Inc.

Liability was hotly contested in the case.

Defense attorneys argued Lundin was to blame because he was speeding and not paying attention. Black box data from Lundin’s vehicle proved he was driving 10 mph above the posted speed limit. The defense further contested the nature and extent of Lundin’s injuries.

Cavanagh Sorich Law Group countered that while Lundin was speeding, it was ultimately Castillo’s inattentiveness that caused the crash. Cavanagh hired an accident reconstructionist and truck experts to criticize the tanker driver.

Had the case gone to trial, Cavanagh Sorich Law Group was prepared to present testimony from numerous experts, including Lundin’s treating physicians at UW Health University Hospital, orthopedic surgeons, a vocational rehabilitation expert, an economist, an accident reconstructionist and a trucking expert.

“Our client’s life was completely upended by this crash,” Sorich said. “His injuries were so severe that he nearly lost his leg. He still requires physical therapy and has been unable to work. The entire incident could have been avoided if the tanker truck driver simply stopped, looked and let Curtis’s truck pass by.”

$3.75 Million for Passenger in Vehicle Struck by Truck

On Jan. 3, 2022, Cavanagh and Sorich obtained a confidential $3.75 million settlement on behalf of a woman injured in a Chicago crash.

The 40-year-old woman was a passenger in a vehicle that was struck by a truck attempting to turn left at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive in Chicago. The woman suffered a ruptured spleen and required a C6-7 anterior discectomy and fusion.

A confidentiality agreement limits the amount of information that may be published.

$800,000 in Georgia Trucking Case

Cavanagh and Sorich on Jan. 31, 2022, obtained a confidential $800,000 settlement for a 71-year-old Pennsylvania woman. She was traveling in Chatham County, Georgia, on April 30, 2018, when her vehicle was rear-ended by a semi-truck and pushed off the road and into trees.

She suffered a rotator cuff tear and required two arthroscopic surgeries. According to her orthopedist, she may require a shoulder replacement in the future.

A confidentiality agreement limits the amount of information that may be published.

At Cavanagh Sorich Law Group, our attorneys have the passion, drive and experience to take on complex and diverse cases across the United States — and win. We are available 24/7 to answer questions and address concerns. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

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