1.866.LIT.FUND
We make the impossible possible.

Litigation Funding Blog

Son and estate of police detective killed in a motor vehicle accident receives a $14 million settlement

February 26, 2021

On December 24, 2018, Louisville Metro Police Detective Deidre Mengedoht was killed in a car accident after a semi-truck crashed into her police vehicle. The officer was conducting a traffic stop when the crash occurred. The semi-truck also injured people in the pickup truck that was pulled over. 

Roger Burdette, the truck driver, was a Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) employee. At the time of the accident, he was in the course of his employment. MSD fired Burdette after the crash. 

Burdette was criminally charged with murder, four counts of wanton endangerment, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and failing to give the right of way to a stopped emergency vehicle. Toxicology reports showed that the semi-truck driver had hydrocodone in his system at the time of the accident.

Two legal claims were filed. One lawsuit was submitted on behalf of the officer’s estate. The other lawsuit was brought on behalf of the detective’s son. The suits were filed against the semi-truck driver and his employer, Burdette and MSD, respectively. 

Burdette was accused of negligence and MSD of failure to employ, supervise and train Burdette properly.

The case went to mediation, and the parties settled for $13.65 million. The estate was awarded $10 million. The detective’s son, who was nine years old at the time of the crash, was awarded $3.65 million.  

The four individuals in the pickup truck also filed a separate lawsuit for their injuries and emotional trauma.

Wrongful death lawsuits arise when a person dies due to another person’s wrongful act or negligent act. In Michigan, a personal representative brings the lawsuit in the name of the estate of the person who died from the accident. The lawsuit can seek to recover compensation for economic and non-economic damages.

Non-economic losses include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium. The economic losses include medical expenses and care, burial costs, and loss of future earnings.

Wrongful death lawsuits cost money to begin the litigation. As the lawsuit progresses, additional fees and costs arise. Additionally, lawsuits are time-consuming and complex; therefore, it is best to hire an attorney to handle the case. However, attorney’s fees and costs can also add to the financial weight of litigation. Although a lawsuit may be costly, a person should not forego legal action when their legal injury caused them to suffer financial and emotional damages. Litigation funding may be the solution to the financial hurdle of a lawsuit.

Legal funding provides monetary assistance to a third party to pay for a lawsuit’s fees and costs. The financing helps a plaintiff hire legal representation based on skill and experience without settling for an attorney based on the costs. Although the third-party financing company pays the money for the litigation, it does not control the lawsuit. The client still decides the direction of the case. 

Also, the attorney does not work for the financer; they work for the client. Because of attorney-client privilege, communications remain private, and the legal funding company does not have the right privileged information.

“Another benefit of litigation financing is that the client does not pay back the loan out-of-pocket. The loan company only gets money back if the borrower wins or settles the case,” says Daren Monroe. The loan’s risk rests with the funding company, which provides financial relief to the plaintiff.

To learn more, visit https://www.litigationfundingcorp.com/.

Litigation Funding