Judge Denies South Suburban Dolton’s Motion for New Trial After Record $33.5 Million Jury Verdict

John Kyles shortly before his death
John Kyles (left) pictured shortly before the police car chase and crash that resulted in his death.

Verdict vs. Dolton is one of the largest-ever for police misconduct in Illinois history

CHICAGO, March 31  – Late yesterday a Cook County judge rejected south suburban Dolton’s attempt to overturn a $33.5 million jury verdict from an October 2016 high-speed police chase that killed one young man and severely injured and disabled another. The August 2022 verdict is one of the highest for police misconduct in Illinois history.

The decision places the Village of Dolton in a dilemma as it has only about $10.5 million dollars of insurance.  “For years in conferences before the trial, we warned the Village of their insurance shortfall,” said Jon Loevy, lead attorney for the victims’ families. “However, the Village’s former administration rejected every attempt at settlement within their insurance policy’s limit. This is a problem of their own making.” 

Interest costs on last August’s verdict are accruing against the Village of Dolton at a rate of $2 million dollars a year.

John Kyles and Duane were passengers in a car chased by Dolton police for blowing through a stop sign.  Kyles was killed, and Dunlap was severely injured in the crash. In a press conference the next day, Village officials denied that their police engaged in the chase, and claimed there was no squad car video – attorneys for the victims alleged that police covered up or destroyed the video.

Besides Jon Loevy, attorneys for the families are Locke Bowman and Quinn Rallins of Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law; and independent practitioner Attorney Daniel Stohr. Loevy & Loevy is one of the nation’s largest civil rights law firms and over the past decade has won more multi-million dollar jury verdicts than any other civil rights law firm in the country. A copy of the lawsuit, Aja Seats, Special Administrator for Deceased Person John Christopher Kyles, and Duane Dunlap v. Village of Dolton, Dolton Police Sgt Lewis Lacey, Dolton Police Officer Ryan Perez (in their individual capacities), unknown police officers, and Demetrius Sorrells, No. 2019L012256, can be found here.

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