It’s never easy losing a loved one, especially when it’s sudden and unexpected. Unfortunately for one woman, she had to experience the heartache of losing her husband in a tragic truck accident. However, instead of getting lost in her grief, she filed a wrongful death lawsuit against her husband’s employer. Now, years after her husband’s death, Mary Kriete-Green of Fontana, Wisconsin has agreed to “a nearly $6 million payment from the companies involved in the death.”
What happened, though? How did Green’s husband die, and how was his employer responsible? For starters, Daniel Green worked as an electrician for “Hecker and Co. when he was struck and killed by a semitractor-trailer at the corner of York Road and Lake Street on Sept. 12, 2011.” Right before the accident, Green was working on an electrical project about four feet “from the intersection when a truck tried to make a sharp right turn from York onto Lake,” and collided with Green, who had his back turned. According to the lawsuit, Green was alive and conscious for minutes after the accident but later died at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital from “massive traumatic injuries.”
In her lawsuit, Mrs. Green “alleged that construction companies on-site failed to put required traffic barriers or drums in place to protect workers.” Sure, workplace accidents happen, but in this case, Mrs. Green’s lawyer, Tim Cavanagh, said: “This was a foreseeable and preventable accident. They put Dan Green out there with no protection whatsoever.”
Others agreed with Cavanagh, including another Hecker and Co. employee who admitted “that most of the trucks turning at that corner drove over the curb.” Additionally, as Cavanagh pointed out, “photos of the area showed old tire tracks there, yet the defendants let Green work close to the road with no traffic protection.”
The lawsuit itself was filed back in 2011 against Adans Trucking Inc., along with the driver, Martin Montelongo, the “general contractor for the construction site, Martam Construction Inc., of Elgin and other subcontractors and employees.”
The settlement, which was approved by “Cook County Circuit Court Judge William Gomolinski,” came just as a trial regarding the matter was about to begin. According to the settlement agreement, in addition to contributing $400,000 to the nearly $6 million settlement, Hecker Electric also “waived its lien.”
So far, Green’s employer has yet to respond to requests for comment about the settlement. Fortunately for Green’s widow, though, the settlement was fully approved.