MENU HomeHistoryAttorneysNewsLiving JusticePhilanthropyMembersTom Kline Settles Chester County, PA, Cancer Death Lawsuit Angela Stone Mark Davis: Federal Judge Rules Mother Can Sue U.S. Army in Child's Beating Death Charla Aldous: Dallas Jury Awards Muslim Doctor 3.6M from UT Southwestern Steve Yerrid: Legal Taskforce to Deal with BP Oil Spill Larry Grassini: Grieving Parents Triumph over 'Goliath.' Couple Wins Lawsuit over Rental Car Company Blamed for Daughters' 2004 Deaths Steve Yerrid July 2010 Lawdragon Lawyer Limelight Charla Aldous: Fees for All: Judge Approves Nearly $500,000 for Counsel Who Won Title VII Suit Roger Pardieck: Floyd Jury Awards $23 Million in Lawsuit Against Apartment Complex John H. Norman: $62M Settlement Reached in Oklahoma Turnpike Deaths Case Tom Girardi: Farmers Agrees to Pay $545 Million to End Claims It Overcharged Policyholders Tom Rhodes: Jury Finds Nursing Home Negligent

Judy Livingston, Brian McKeen, Tom Moore: Woman wins $96 million verdict after husband, son killed in trucking crash on I-75

'There is no greater loss than losing your child and let alone my husband.'

By: Alex Bozarjian , David Kalman, WYYZ Detroit News

Posted at 10:48 PM, Apr 20, 2023


(WXYZ) — The family of a father and son who were killed in a trucking crash on I-75 found some closure in a Wayne County circuit court Thursday.

Their attorneys managed to win a $96 million guilty verdict against a Canada-based trucking company and their driver.

"There is no greater loss than losing your child and let alone my husband," Natalie Attianese said.

In June of 2018, Jude and Zach Attianese packed their car and headed to Sterling Heights from New Jersey for a funeral. They were on I-75 near the Dix-Toledo Highway when a semitruck rear-ended them.

The only thing intact after the crash was their luggage.

"It is excruciatingly painful. It is something that my daughters have to deal with for the rest of our lives," Natalia Attianese said.

According to court documents, Jude and Zach Attianese were in a congested construction zone going about 5 mph when the semi barreled into them.

Michigan State Police investigators say there was no evidence the driver tried to break before impact.

"It turns out that he was on three medications for Parkinson's disease, each of which contain warnings of the dangers of falling asleep while driving, sleep attacks and reports of fatalities and injuries in people operating heavy equipment," attorney Brian McKeen with McKeen & Associates said.

The jury found Canada-based Challenger Motor Freight Inc. and its driver negligent in their deaths.

"The challenger safety director testified that there wasn't one person at that company — which employs 900 to 1,000 across the United States — that ever looked into the fitness of a single driver," McKeen said.

Mckeen, along with New York attorney Judith Livingston, said the company plans to appeal the verdict.

Nonetheless, they say Thursday's win in court is historic and possibly the largest verdict of its kind in Michigan.

"The court system works and juries work to bring out justice. It's such a rewarding feeling to be a small part in bringing that about," Livingston said.

7 Action News asked asked Natalie Attianese if she felt lighter after the verdict came down.

"A lot in that sense but heavier because Zach and Jude aren't here and they never will be and I just miss them terribly," she said.

Natalie Attianese mourns the life her son could have had as a rising baseball star. At the time of his death, he was one of the highest ranked left-handed pitchers in the country.

"He was on his way," she said. "He was getting calls from major league teams that week prior to his death."

Natalie Attianese says on her darkest days, it's Zach and Jude who brings her comfort.

"I look for signs, something that shows me they are around us and I do get a lot of those," she said.

web site design by skyfire studio