Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.
   
     
     
     



$3.85 million granted in lawsuit against ex-Cook County forest preserve worker charged in fatal on-the-job crash

Thursday, April 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune
by George Houde

$3.85 million granted in lawsuit against ex-Cook County forest preserve worker charged in fatal on-the-job crash

Chicago Tribune
 
 
$3.85 million default judgment has been issued against a former Cook County Forest Preserve worker who authorities say was intoxicated while on the job when he drove a forest preserve truck at a high speed into a line of stopped vehicles last year, killing a Bloomingdale man.

The judgment was entered Monday in Cook County Circuit Court’s civil division in a wrongful death lawsuit against Caleb Rallings, a Hillside resident who was the alleged driver of the dump truck that killed 44-year-old Giuseppe Gazzano in a June 30 crash.

Alan Barinholtz, attorney for Gazzano’s estate, said he filed the motion for the default judgment after Rallings failed to respond to summons in the case either by himself or through an attorney. Judge Israel Desierto granted the motion, allowing Rallings 30 days to file a motion to vacate the judgment.

The lawsuit alleges that negligence on the part of Rallings led to Gazzano’s death.

A similar lawsuit is pending against the Forest Preserve District.

Rallings is not being represented by Forest Preserve District attorneys in the case, said district spokeswoman Stacina Stagner. The district has taken legal action of its own against Rallings.

“The district filed a lawsuit earlier this year for a declaratory judgment stating that Rallings was not acting within the scope of his employment at the time of the accident,” Stagner said in a written response to questions.

She declined further comment, citing pending litigation.

Rallings was 20 and a seasonal worker for the district when he drove the truck 76 mph into a line of vehicles stopped for a light at Arlington Heights and Cosman roads in Elk Grove Village, authorities said. The speed limit was 30 mph.

Four community service workers in the truck were hurt along with eight other individuals, authorities said. A bachelor who took care of his aging mother, Gazzano was driving home from work when he was killed, Barinholtz said.

Rallings was arrested at the scene and indicted on charges of aggravated driving under the influence and reckless homicide. Prosecutors said Rallings had THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, in his bloodstream at the time of the crash.

Rallings was fired from the forest preserve job after the crash and is currently out on bail awaiting trial in the criminal case. He also was injured and was hospitalized following the crash, authorities said.

The injured have filed civil lawsuits against the Forest Preserve District, Rallings and a forest preserve supervisor who should have known Rallings was impaired, Barinholtz said. Those lawsuits are pending.

He said it is unusual that the district is not representing Rallings in the lawsuit.

“I’ve never seen a municipality or a business take a position where someone who was operating a company vehicle with the knowledge and permission of the entity decline coverage,” Barinholtz said. “It would be one thing if he did not have permission. That’s not what we have here.”

The Forest Preserve District is a self-insured government agency.

George Houde is a freelance reporter.

 

 
 


Recent Headlines

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM COMMISSIONER SUFFREDIN
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Assessor’s Office Publicly Releases Residential Assessment Code and Models
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

EDITORIAL: Long in the MWRD pipeline, IG plan needs a yes vote
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Health Cuts Ribbon on Outpatient Center in Arlington Heights
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Celebrate Earth Day with the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Homeowners in Chicago have just a few weeks to get current on their 2017 property taxes - or risk losing their homes. WBEZ’s Odette Yousef reports.
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
WBEZ Chiacgo Public Radio

Editorial: The Foxx-Smollett questions for Inspector General Blanchard
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County pet owners warned of spring coyote dangers
Monday, April 15, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County inspector general to review prosecutors' handling of Jussie Smollett case
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Foxx requests Cook County IG investigation into handling of Jussie Smollett case
Friday, April 12, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

A challenge to one of Chicago's biggest draws for companies
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

What Evanston's assessments tell us about the new assessor's new math
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

$3.85 million granted in lawsuit against ex-Cook County forest preserve worker charged in fatal on-the-job crash
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

A Day in the Life of a Cook County Burn Crew
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
WTTW News

EDITORIAL: Splitting up the region’s sanitation board is an idea that stinks
Monday, April 08, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Lawmakers Look To Keep 10-Year-Olds Out Of Jail
Thursday, April 04, 2019

Property Tax Workshops Help Homeowners Appeal Assessments
Wednesday, April 03, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Large crowds of Evanston residents turn out to appeal property tax assessments
Tuesday, April 02, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Family of slain cabbie accuses Cook County state's attorney's office of dodging FOIA request
Monday, April 01, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Property Tax Appeal Seminar Set For New Trier Township Residents
Monday, April 01, 2019
Journal and Topics Online

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP