A judge has ordered the Ohio Department of Transportation to pay a New Concord family nearly $4 million in a wrongful death judgment. The wife and mother of the family was killed four years ago when a tree fell on her car as she was heading home with her five-year-old son, causing her to lose control of the vehicle.

Although a judgment has just been issued, the man whose wife was killed filed the wrongful death lawsuit in February 2010.

According to reports, the family had just finished celebrating Christmas with the man’s parents and siblings and was driving back to New Concord to celebrate with the woman’s sister and her family. The man took his 11-year-old daughter in his pickup while his wife took their five-year-old son. When his wife and son didn’t show up, the man went looking for them. He found the car accident on Ohio 83.

A tree had fallen and hit the car, causing the vehicle to leave the road and hit a fence and several other trees before it came to a stop. The woman was killed and the five-year-old spent nearly two weeks in a hospital with a fractured skull, brain swelling, and traumatic brain injury.

In the wrongful death suit, it is stated that it is ODOT’s responsibility to keep the roads safe, and that ODOT officials knew trees from the eroding eastern bank were leaning onto Ohio 83, as well as knew of trees actually falling onto the road.

IN addition to the son’s injuries, the man was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. He has been on short-term medical leave from his job since 2012.

The judgment covers medical bills, funeral expenses, wages and benefits the deceased would have earned, as well as mental anguish and loss of companionship.

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another party anywhere in Ohio, please contact Roberth W. Kerpsack CO, L.P.A. for a free, no-obligation consultation today.