With the representation of Scott Lane, of Lane & Lane, LLC, the daughter of deceased mother Annette Alston has reached a $2.25 million settlement after her mother was struck by a tractor-trailer while pulled over on a highway in Schaumburg.
In October 2013, 49-year-old Alston pulled her car over to the shoulder of the Elgin–O’Hare Tollway when she was subsequently rear-ended by Ever Avila-Ayala, a truck driver who owns E & Denesis Trucking Inc. Her daughter, Lynette Lee, on behalf of her mother's estate, sued Avila-Ayala, E & Denesis Trucking Inc., contractor Rico Enterprises Inc., and subcontractor Plote Construction Inc. for the wrongful death of her mother.
Lee argued that the trucker failed to remain in his lane of traffic and did not keep a proper lookout for her mother's pulled over car when he struck her from behind. The trucker claimed that Alston pulled into his lane, causing the crash. A reconstruction expert retained by the Alston estate was critical in establishing the trucker's fault. Two weeks after the auto crash, Alston succumbed to her injuries after suffering from multiple organ failure. She left behind her 19-year-old (at the time of the crash) daughter, Lynette; her 13-year-old son, Xavier; and her estranged husband, Peter Lee. Lane & Lane, LLC only represented the children, and Lee retained his own counsel.
Once several hotly contested motions filed by the defendants were denied, the defendants became receptive to the idea of exploring a settlement.
Former Judge Stuart A. Nudelman of ADR Systems of America, LLC was instrumental in helping the case settle during mediation. Cook County Circuit Judge Kathy M. Flanagan issued the settlement order following the dependency hearing. Of this award, Annette’s children received 97.25 percent and her husband received 2.75 percent—a result her children are happy with. Attorney Kevin Griffin assisted attorney Scott Lane during the dependency hearing.
Lynette describes her and her brother’s relationship with their mother as being the best of friends. With the passing of Annette, Lynette and Xavier were left essentially parentless, and Lynette had to take over the roles and responsibilities of her mother and father, as well as begin raising her brother. Though nothing will ever ease the pain of the loss these children endured, this settlement award will give them their best chance at moving forward despite the overwhelming odds.