Madison - St. Clair Record

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Judge Hylla and Madison County named in probation officer's collision suit

By Carol Ostrow | Jun 16, 2015

J. Robert Edmonds

Circuit Judge David Hylla was named a defendant in a woman's lawsuit accusing a probation officer of causing a collision. Hylla is named for having authority over the Madison County court system, including the Illinois Probation and Court Services Department.

Lauren W. Kempfer filed a lawsuit June 1 in Madison County Circuit Court against Nichole E. Deppe, Circuit Judge David Hylla and Madison County, claiming three counts of negligence in a June 2014 motor vehicle accident.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff was driving her 2012 Chevrolet Cruze on Illinois Route 159 in the right lane near an exit ramp from Interstate 55/70 in Collinsville Township on or about June 3, 2014. At the same time, Deppe, a probation officer for Hylla, was operating a 2006 Chevrolet Impala north on 55/70 in the scope of her employment, the suit states.

Kempfer claims Deppe exited the interstate to merge onto Route 159 south and struck the passenger side of her vehicle. The plaintiff claims the defendant owed her a duty of reasonable care in the operation of her vehicle. Kempfer accuses Deppe of failing to keep a proper lookout, control her vehicle and reduce her speed.

Kempfer claims she suffered physical injuries, mental anguish and medical expenses.

She alleges negligence against all defendants, arguing that Hylla “had a general administrative and supervisory authority over the Madison County, Illinois Probation and Court Services Department.”

Kempfer named Hyllla a defendant because he was an employer of the probation officer, meaning Deppe was acting as an agent or employee of Hylla.

Through his agent, Hylla is accused of failing to reduce speed to avoid a collision, failing to keep the vehicle under control, failing to keep a proper lookout and driving the vehicle at a speed that was too fast for conditions.

Madison County is named a defendant because Deppe was a Madison County agent and employee.  

Kempfer seeks damages in excess of $50,000 from each defendant, plus attorney’s fees and costs.

She is represented by J. Robert Edmonds of Edmonds Law Office in Edwardsville.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 15-L-699.


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