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Local News

Settlement reached in Beecher car crash case, payments made to surviving father

Sean B. Woulfe
Sean B. Woulfe

A settlement was reached in a wrongful death lawsuit against a Chicago man facing charges in a fatal car crash that killed a pregnant mother and her three children.

On March 15, A Will County judge approved the distribution of liability payments to the victims of the July 2017 crash under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act.

The payments total $300,000 for all five victims. A court order on May 2 dismissed the case against Sean B. Woulfe after a presentation of vouchers the payments were made.

Woulfe, 26, who lived in Beecher at the time of the crash, was charged with reckless homicide in connection with the deaths of Lindsey Schmidt, 29, who was four months’ pregnant, and her three sons Owen, 6, Weston, 4, and Kaleb, 1.

Edward Schmidt, the husband and father of the victims in the car crash, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Woulfe in late January.

The lawsuit alleged Woulfe failed to keep his car under control, failed to keep a proper lookout, disobeyed traffic signals and signs, drove his car at an excessive speed, and failed to yield the right of way.

Edward Schmidt filed a petition to settle the lawsuit and approve the distribution of liability payments. The petition claimed Woulfe carried a single policy of liability with Geico at the time of the car rash with limits of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per occurrence.

The Schmidt family sought liability claims against Woulfe and Geico for the full liability limits covering Woulfe’s car, according to the petition. Geico allegedly offered the full $300,000 per occurrence to the Schmidt family.

The petition said “all parties and counsel” believed the offer of the $300,000 policy limits under the circumstances are “fair and reasonable” for the victims’ death settlements.

On March 15, the judge approved $300,000 liability payments for each of the victims’ deaths to Edward Schmidt. The payments will be made by Geico to Edward Schmidt, according to a court order.

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