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$1,550,000 for 22-Year Old Woman Killed in a Truck Accident in Illinois

Lake County, Illinois – June 2014

Whiting Law Group, through its managing partner and lead truck accident attorney, Timothy M. Whiting, secured a $1.55 million settlement for the family of a young woman killed in a truck accident in December 2010 in Wadsworth, Illinois.

On December 28, 2010, at about 7:00 pm, the victim, Giselle McComb, drove into the intersection of Rte. 41 and Rte. 173, in Lake County, Illinois. Ms. McComb had previously come to a stop before entering the intersection, which was controlled by a malfunctioning traffic signal. Given the time of the year and a recent local power outage, the intersection of these two busy street was very dark. The defendant truck driver, José L. Bugarin, was heading north on Rte. 41, approaching the intersection with Rte. 173. Mr. Bugarin was transporting a massive load of steel, hauling it from Indiana to Wisconsin. The defendant truck driver failed to see that the traffic signal was not working – and he entered the dark intersection at 50 mph. His truck broadsided Ms. McComb’s car on the driver’s side. Ms McComb was killed by the impact, dying on the scene of the crash.

In its fight for justice for the McComb family, the truck accident attorneys at Whiting Law Group brought suit against the trucking company, J.L. Shandy Transportation, Inc. / J.L. Crotty, LLC., and against the truck driver, Mr. Bugarin.

Unwilling to leave any stone unturned in its search for full justice for the McComb family, Whiting Law Group also filed suit against the shipping company for the load of steel. The firm alleged that the shipping company was negligent in its selection of the defendant trucking company. To pursue the claim of negligent selection, Whiting Law Group hired some of the top experts in this difficult and still evolving area of law, to prove that the shipper was liable for failing to adequately investigate whether J.L. Shandy Transportation, Inc., was a competent, fit and safe motor carrier capable of hauling its heavy loads of steel. Despite the firm’s efforts in this cutting edge cause of action, the Court sided on the prevailing law and ruled that the shipping company could not be responsible for the negligence of the truck company and driver.

Given the evolving nature of shipper liability law, the work of Tim Whiting, Sara Davis and Torrie Poplin did cause the shipping company to update its policies on how properly evaluating and selecting safe and fit truck companies and drivers to haul its steel in the future.

Despite losing the battle against the shipper, Tim and his associates secured a settlement of $1,550,000.00 from the defendant truck company and driver. Our team of truck accident attorneys secured $1,000,000.00 from defendant truck driver and trucking company, the maximum policy limit. In its relentless pursuit of justice for the McComb family’s loss of Giselle, the firm filed a separate declaratory action for coverage under the Defendant’s business premise liability policy. Through its fight to prevail on this theory, the firm secured an unprecedented award of $400,000 for our clients from the business liability policy held by the trucking company.

The firm also went after Giselle’s auto insurance carrier. Through its efforts, the firm secured the full $150,000.00 underinsured motorist policy limits for the family.

Reflecting up on this significant truck crash and the experience of working with the McComb family, Tim Whiting shared his thoughts:

“Representing the McComb family following the tragic loss of their daughter and sister, Giselle, was one of the greatest honors in my legal career. While the case presented many roadblocks and challenges, I am proud of our team’s work – taking on the big firm lawyers that the truck company, driver shipping company and their insurance companies hired to fight the McCombs. While our prevailing over these odds was gratifying, it was an even greater experience to be a part of representing and fighting for such a family.”

The firm has also won numerous cases that were either settled or tried before a jury and resulted in millions of dollars in recovery for the firm’s clients over the past 15 years.