When Stacey McHale, 36, experienced car trouble while driving on a highway, she pulled over onto the shoulder and turned on her hazard lights. Truck driver Russell Kleppe, who was driving in the lane closest to the shoulder, attempted to change lanes as he approached the spot where McHale was standing. He lost control of the truck, causing the trailer to swerve right, fatally striking McHale. She had been a waitress and is survived by her husband and two minor children.
McHale’s husband, on behalf of her estate, sued Kiswani Trucking, Inc., which employed Kleppe, and Transfreight LLC, which owned the trailer, alleging liability for Kleppe’s speeding, failure to keep a proper lookout, and failure to maintain control of the vehicle. Suit charged that Kleppe should have timely moved into another lane when he first noticed McHale’s hazard lights.
The jury awarded $8 million, finding that Kiswani and Kleppe were Transfreight’s agents.
Citation: McHale v. Transfreight, LLC, No. 2010L2934F (Ill., Cook Co. Cir. Mar. 22, 2013).
Plaintiff counsel: AAJ members Philip Corboy Jr. and Matthew T. Jenkins, both of Chicago.