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Family of Downers Grove Woman Wins $1.25 Million Verdict


The family of Downers Grove resident Mary Dehlinger was awarded 1.25 million dollars in a wrongful death case yesterday following a trial in Cook County Circuit Court. Corboy & Demetrio in Chicago, represented the family.

The lawsuit stemmed from an automobile crash on June 9, l995 when Ms. Dehlinger and her husband Owen, their daughter and two grandchildren were hit by a truck near West Point, Indiana. According to Mr. Dehlinger, the driver of the car, the family was in the right lane of the two southbound lanes, proceeding at 65 mph. A tractor/trailer, driven by the defendant, Richard T. Haskett, was in the left passing lane. On the far right side was a merge lane with cars moving from a rest area into Mr. Dehlinger's lane of traffic. Mr. Dehlinger began to speed up in front of the truck. Defendant started to change lanes into Mr. Dehlinger's lane of traffic and into his car, striking the left rear quarter panel. Mr. Dehlinger's car spun around and flipped over several times before landing in a field.

Ms. Dehlinger was killed immediately in the crash. Mr. Dehlinger and the rest of the family sustained broken bones and bruises.

The lawsuit charged Mr. Haskett and the trucking company, Caldwell Freight Lines of North Carolina, with negligence in the deaths and injuries of the Dehlinger family.

After the verdict was read the firm said, "The testimony brought out how wonderful and important Mary was to her family. While nothing can replace the loss of her life, I'm glad the family is able to have some closure on this case."

Ms. Dehlinger attended Lutheran Trinity Church in Lisle. She was 64 years old when she was killed.

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