$22.7 million verdict for widow of man killed in I-294 crash

- The widow of a man killed in a crash four years ago on the Tri-State Tollway in the western suburbs has been awarded $22.7 million in a wrongful death lawsuit, the largest verdict in Cook County in more than a decade.

Aaron Swenson, 31, was stopped in a construction zone on I-294 near Roosevelt Road on May 22, 2012, when a truck crashed into his vehicle from behind, according to Clifford Law, which represented Swenson’s widow, Theresa Swenson, in the lawsuit.

The truck driver, who allegedly had drugs in his system and a history of speeding tickets, worked for Hussmann Corp. of Missouri, according to the law firm.

Theresam Swenson, now 31, was pregnant at the time her husband was killed. The couple resided in northwest suburban Union, but she has since moved to Chicago.

The jury deliberated for three hours before reaching the verdict following a two-week trial before Judge Thomas Lipscomb. The jury awarded $10 million for grief and sorrow, and another $10 million for loss of society.

“This case is a very sad one. The loss of this young husband and father was senseless,” attorney Kevin Durkin said after the verdict.

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