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$5 Million Wrongful Death Settlement in LaSalle County

02.24.2011

A hospital has agreed to a settlement of $5 million with the Estate of Richard J. Berry relating to a wrongful death lawsuit stemming from Mr. Berry’s death on December 16, 2009.  The settlement was approved and the case was dismissed by Judge Joseph Hettel of LaSalle County, Illinois.  

At approximately 6:00 p.m. on December 16, 2009, Mr. Berry was driving his car northbound on Route 23 at the intersection of Route 17 about three miles south of Streator, Illinois.  A driver of a semi-tractor trailer owned by the hospital was heading eastbound on Route 17 and struck Mr. Berry’s car, causing his death.   

Berry’s estate was represented by partners, Robert J. Bingle and Thomas A. Demetrio of Corboy & Demetrio in Chicago, Illinois.  The $5 million settlement is one of the largest single wrongful death settlements in LaSalle County.   

Mr. Berry was born in Bloomington, Illinois.  He attended St. Mary’s Grade School in Streator, Illinois and graduated from Streator High School.  He graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974 and from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 1977.  After graduation, Mr. Berry joined his father, John Berry, and Andrew O’Conor in the practice of law in Ottowa and Streator.  In 1980, be became a partner at Myers, Berry, O’Conor & Kuzma, Ltd.  Throughout his legal career, Mr. Berry distinguished himself as a skilled trial lawyer.   

Mr. Berry was an avid golfer and a marathon runner.  He was very involved with St. Mary’s Hospital, the Engle Lane Theater and served on the Board of Centrue Bank.  He also served on the Board as a Director for the Streator area Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Streator Family YMCA; and Streator, Unlimited.  In addition, he was active in the Streator Rotary Club, the Monsignor George A. Dzuryo Knights of Columbus Counsel 790 and the Prairie Street Legal Services Leadership Committee.   

Mr. Berry is survived by his wife, Rebecca Berry, and his three adult children, John Berry, Martha Berry King and Robert Berry.  “We are delighted that we could resolve this case for the family”, Mr. Bingle said.  Bingle stated, “Richard Berry was a loving husband and a great father.  He was a tenacious and passionate advocate for his clients and a very active man in his community.  He is missed by many people.” 

For a free consultation with attorneys Robert Bingle or Thomas Demetrio, or any other lawyer at Corboy & Demetrio, call 312.346.3191.  We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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