Family awarded nearly $5M in wrongful death lawsuit against Chicago police
CHICAGO - It was a horrific crash caught on camera, with Chicago police officers behind the wheel.
In May 2019, Verona Gunn was a passenger inside her daughter’s car. The vehicle was stopped at a red light in Austin when prosecutors say an unmarked police van sped through the intersection, ignoring a red light, and colliding with another police SUV.
"This was not a chase. Two officers were answering a call at the same time, same place, but they didn’t stop in the intersection. One didn’t see the other and they collided. The officers ended up slamming into Gunn, killing her," said Tony Romanucci, the attorney who represents the victim's estate.
Gunn was a mother of three, a great-grandmother, and a former CPS teacher. She died at 84-years-old.
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Ten Chicago police officers were injured in the crash. Officer Patrick Brown was terminated from the department following the incident.
After a nearly four year legal fight, $4.93 million dollars was awarded to the victim's estate in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Romanucci says this is among the largest settlements in Illinois awarded for the death of someone in their 80s.
A statement from the victim’s son, Pastor Dwight Gunn, says in part: "It is our hope to honor our mother’s legacy by continuing to push for reforms that improve safe driving and eliminate accidents caused by the Chicago Police Department."