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A Rockford-area family has filed suit against the Winnebago County sheriff and one of its deputies after two family members died and one was injured when their vehicle was struck by a squad car driven by the deputy. According to the black box in the deputy’s vehicle, he was traveling at 103 miles per hour immediately before impact.

A part of the suit will claim wrongful death on behalf of the widow and child of one of the fatality victims.

The jury instructions on wrongful death cases state that a jury may presume that a child has sustained substantial damages as a result of the death of a parent. That is true even where, as here, the parent dies before the child is ever born. This allows the child to recover some degree of compensation for being denied the benefits of a parental relationship due to the negliegence of others.

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