$280 Million Jury Verdict in Head-On Truck Crash on Interstate Highway Involving Five Passengers

While driving a Schnitzer Steel Industries tractor-trailer on an interstate highway, Kenneth Cathey crossed the center line and collided head-on with an SUV driven by Carrie Jones. There were five occupants of the Jones’ SUV, which included Jones, her two minor children, her mother, Judy Madere, and Madere’s twin sister who died in the crash.

Madere’s husband, individually, and on behalf of her estate, sued Schnitzer Southeast LLC, Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc. and Kenneth Cathey.

The plaintiffs claimed that Cathey was driving while fatigued and had slept only 4-5 hours the night before the crash.

The plaintiffs maintained that Schnitzer had no functioning fatigue management plan and provided no training to prevent or discourage drivers from operating tractor-trailers while tired.

The plaintiffs also claimed that Cathey had a history of three previous crashes while driving for Schnitzer and had more than a dozen traffic tickets on his driving record.

The lawsuit did not claim past medical expenses or lost income.

The defendants admitted liability. The jury signed a verdict for more than $280 million, which included $100 million in punitive damages.

At trial, the plaintiffs’ attorneys presented an expert in accident reconstruction.

The attorneys successfully handling this tragic lawsuit were Brandon L. Peak, Christopher B. McDaniel, Joel O. Wooten Jr. and Ramsey B. Prather.

Madere, et al. v. Schnitzer Southeast, LLC, No. SC 17CV106 (Ga. St. Ct. Muscogee County).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling interstate highway crash lawsuits, tractor-trailer collision lawsuits, head-on crash lawsuits, car accident cases, wrongful death cases, traumatic brain injury lawsuits, truck accidents and spinal cord injury cases for individuals, families and loved ones who have been injured, harmed or killed by the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Des Plaines, Rolling Meadows, Wheeling, Buffalo Grove, Lincolnshire, Highwood, Olympia Fields, Highland Park, Skokie, Park Ridge, Forest Park, Oak Park, Cicero, Joliet, Countryside, Willowbrook, Willow Springs, Palos Hills, Oak Forest, Riverdale, South Holland, Chicago (West Pullman, Morgan Park, Mount Greenwood, Beverly, Washington Heights, Calumet Heights, South Shore, Back of the Yards, Brighton Park, Gage Park, Chinatown, South Loop, Greek Town, East Garfield Park, Near North Side, Ravenswood, Albany Park, West Rogers Park), Norridge, Rosemont, Northlake, Villa Park, Carol Stream, Warrenville, Naperville, Darien, Burr Ridge, Orland Hills, Lockport, Mokena, Hazel Crest, Markham and River Forest, Ill.

Robert D. Kreisman has been an active member of the Illinois and Missouri bars since 1976.

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