An Indiana jury found entered a $4.25 million verdict against a truck driver and his employer for the wrongful death of 28 year-old Hawa Sissoko in Estate of Hawa Sissoko, deceased v. Roadway Express, Inc., YRC Worldwide, Inc., et al., 09 L 2542.
Sissoko’s vehicle was stopped on an Indiana tollway; Sissoko’s 2007 Dodge Intrepid was not pulled to the side of the road, but was in fact sitting in the right lane of traffic. According to eyewitness reports, Sissoko was standing behind her car when she was struck by a semi truck driven by Alfred Baggiani. Sissoko was pinned between the truck and her car, which then caught on firing; Sissoko died immediately as a result of the highway accident.
Sissoko was survived by her parents and eight siblings, all of whom lived in Mali, West Africa. And while Sissoko’s parents had not seen her since 2000, they maintained regular contact by telephone. A lawsuit was brought by Sissoko’s surviving family members against Baggiani according to the Illinois Wrongful Death Act. Sissoko’s estate also brought a claim against Roadway Express, Inc., the trucking company Baggiani worked for, and its parent company, YRC Worldwide, Inc. The wrongful death claims sought damages for the loss of Sissoko’s society that her family had allegedly suffered as a result of the defendants’ negligence.