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Illinois Personal Injury & Criminal Defense / Blog / Personal Injury / City of Champaign Sued After Death of Tow Truck Driver

City of Champaign Sued After Death of Tow Truck Driver


A 20-year-old tow truck driver was killed in March 2022 after being struck by another driver while cleaning up debris from a different accident. The other driver was a 16-year-old who ended up being convicted of failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. The 16-year-old paid a fine and had his license revoked as a result of the conviction.

The tow truck driver’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Champaign alleging that police officers should not have allowed him to walk into the intersection while he was cleaning accident debris.

The city of Champaign’s attorney has recommended that the city settle for a reported $2 million with the family. The next step in getting the family paid is for the city council to vote on the matter and authorize the settlement.

Government liability and sovereign immunity in Illinois 

Suing the government is a bit different than suing a private citizen or a company. According to the State Lawsuit Immunity Act, you can’t name Illinois or any government entity as a defendant in a lawsuit except under the Court of Claims Act, the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act, or the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act. If you believe you have a lawsuit against the government or one of its employees, it’s imperative that you talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer who can navigate the complexities of such a claim.

In terms of personal injury lawsuits, the lawsuits are filed under the Court of Claims Act or (in the case mentioned above) the Local Government and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act. The Court of Claims limits any financial recovery in a personal injury lawsuit filed against the government to $2 million in most cases. There is one exception involving a state-owned motor vehicle operated by a state employee. As an example, those who are in a crash caused by an Illinois State Trooper would be entitled to recover more than $2 million in some cases.

If your claim is filed against a local government, then it must be filed under the Local Government and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act. This rule significantly limits when you can file a lawsuit against a local government. The law prevents citizens from filing lawsuits based on ordinary negligence. Instead, you must allege that the government entity or its employee’s conduct amounted to “willful and wanton misconduct.” An example of willful and wanton misconduct includes excessive force used by police officers. In some cases, your attorney can establish that a government policy was violated in order to prove your case.

Talk to a Champaign, IL Personal Injury Lawyer Today 

Patel Law, PC represents the interests of injured plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits filed against local governments or the state of Illinois. Call our Champaign personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.



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