5 Million Settlement Approved in Illinois Truck Crash – Berry v. OSF Healthcare System

An Illinois judge approved a $5 million settlement in a trucking accident lawsuit brought by the estate of an Illinois civil attorney who was killed in a two-vehicle accident near Streator, Illinois. The settlement in Estate of Richard J. Berry v. OSF Healthcare System Corp., et al., No. 10 L 14, represents one of the largest personal injury settlements in LaSalle County, Illinois.

The decedent, Richard Berry, was a partner in his own firm and had been practicing law in Illinois since the mid-1970s. Mr. Berry was widely respected in the legal community and was known to be a very capable trial lawyer. The Illinois wrongful death lawsuit was brought by his wife and three adult children, all of which will receive a portion of the Illinois settlement.

The Illinois wrongful death lawsuit was brought against OSF Healthcare System Corp., a Peoria-based company; its subsidiary, OSF Saint Francis, Inc.; and David DeFrance, the other driver involved in the two-vehicle accident which led to Berry’s death. All parties involved contributed to the $5 million settlement to Mr. Berry’s surviving family members.

In December 2009, Mr. Berry was leaving an appointment in his vehicle when David DeFrance ran into Berry’s vehicle with his semi-trailer. The Illinois truck accident occurred when DeFrance failed to come to a stop at an stop-sign controlled intersection and crashed into the driver side of Berry’s vehicle.

At the time of the Illinois intersection accident, DeFrance was driving a semi-trailer owned by OSF Saint Francis. DeFrance was transporting medical supplies to clinics and hospitals and was operating within the extent of his work duties at the time of the Illinois crash. Under Illinois law, an employer is responsible for insuring its employees who use the company vehicles and is potentially liable for any accidents that occur while the employee is performing his job duties. Therefore, Berry’s estate was able to file an Illinois wrongful death lawsuit not only against DeFrance himself, but also his employer, OSF Saint Francis, and its parent company, OSF Healthcare System.

The Illinois truck accident lawsuit did not go to trial, but was settled with all parties involved. While the total settlement is $5 million, the amount that each defendant contributed to the final settlement is unknown.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Illinois truck accident cases and Illinois wrongful death lawsuits for more than 35 years in and around Chicago and Cook County, including Blue Island, Lincolnwood, Long Grove, and Highwood.

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