Chicago suburb to pay $10 million in 2019 hit-and-run lawsuit

A Chicago suburb will pay $10 million to settle a lawsuit stemming from a 2019 hit-and-run crash in which the village’s then-manager struck and critically injured a pedestrian with his municipal vehicle.

The Oak Lawn Village Board approved the settlement on Nov. 8, resolving a lawsuit that was filed in January 2020 on behalf of Mark Berkshire, 51. The settlement still needs a judge’s approval.

Berkshire’s attorney, Victor Henderson, confirmed the settlement Friday. He said Berkshire remains in a nursing home facility, cannot walk independently and requires specialized care, the Daily Southtown reported.

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“He’s not lived independently since the day of the accident,” Henderson said.

According to the settlement agreement, Oak Lawn does not admit to any liability or wrongdoing in the October 2019 accident.

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Oak Lawn Village in Illinois has been ordered to pay $10 million to settle a lawsuit regarding a hit-and-run involving the village’s manager

Larry Deetjen, then the village’s manager, was driving his village-owned vehicle when he struck Berkshire as he was crossing a street. Berkshire suffered multiple fractures to his body and head as well as swelling of the brain.

After striking Berkshire, police said Deetjen continued driving without stopping.

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Deetjen was charged with misdemeanors, including leaving the scene of an accident. He retired from Oak Lawn in November 2019 at age 70.