Family of Danville, Ill., Woman Killed by Semi Receives $1,495,000 in Wrongful Death Suit

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Chicago wrongful death attorney Jeffrey J. Kroll of the Law Offices of Jeffrey J. Kroll settled a case involving a semi collision that killed a Danville woman for $1,495,000. Dayton Freight Lines, a national trucking company; the City of Danville and Henry Butler were the settling defendants.

Although no amount of money makes up for her absence in their lives, this settlement will help them move on and heal as best they can.

Chicago wrongful death attorney Jeffrey J. Kroll of the Law Offices of Jeffrey J. Kroll (http://www.kroll-lawfirm.com) has settled a case involving a semi collision that killed a Danville woman for $1,495,000. This is the largest reported wrongful death settlement involving a car and semi-trailer for a female in Vermilion County (source: Cook County Jury Verdict Reporter). Dayton Freight Lines, a national trucking company; the City of Danville and Henry Butler were the settling defendants. Judge Michael D. Clary approved the settlement March 10.

Debra Jean Cunningham, 49, was struck and killed by a Dayton Freight Lines semi tractor trailer driven by Henry Butler on August 25, 2004. A severe thunderstorm had knocked out traffic control devices at the intersection of Vermilion Street and Lakeshore Avenue, and the City of Danville took action by placing a non-reflective stop sign in the middle of the intersection. According to witness testimony, Cunningham arrived at the intersection and came to a complete stop. She then attempted to proceed through the intersection, and was struck by Butler, who did not stop at the sign, slamming into Cunningham's vehicle. She was killed by the force of impact.

Kroll contended that the stop sign was not only placed in the wrong location, but was non-reflective. In addition, Kroll said Butler was an individual familiar with the intersection and should have known to stop.

Cunningham had been married to her husband, Carlos, for 22 years, and had five children and several grandchildren. She had worked at Blue Cross/Blue Shield for almost 20 years.

"Debra was very involved with the community and her church, and was a constant presence in the lives of her children and grandchildren," said Kroll. "Although no amount of money makes up for her absence in their lives, this settlement will help them move on and heal as best they can."

Carol Cunningham, as Executor of the Estate of Debra Jean Cunningham, Deceased, v. Dayton Freight Lines, a corporation, Henry Butler and the City of Danville.

Court of Record - Illinois Circuit Court of the Fifth Judicial Circuit, Vermilion County, Ill., case number 05 L 13.

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THOMAS CIESIELKA
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