Kenneth J. Allen & Associates - Injury Attorneys
Illinois and Indiana Personal Injury Lawyers and Attorneys Trial and Civil Litigation Law Firm.
Passion. Commitment. Excellence.
Those three words best describe the driving forces behind Kenneth J. Allen & Associates. Our firm is devoted exclusively to the practice of Accident and Injury Law, and exclusively to the people - not corporations - seriously hurt or killed in incidents as varied as on-the-job accidents, semi-truck crashes, injuries from a defective product, or loss of life because of a doctor's medical malpractice.
As the only multi-state law firm in Valparaiso Indiana, Merrillville Indiana, Indianapolis Indiana, Northwest Indiana, Chicagoland, Joliet Illinois, Tinley Park Illinois, Chicago Illinois accepting serious injury and wrongful death cases, exclusively, Kenneth J. Allen & Associates is experienced and knowledgeable in the details and procedures that can make or break a case.
Monday-Friday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Yesterday, the New York Times ran an extensive, overview article covering the growing Toyota scandal regarding an unintended acceleration problem in some of its cars, “Toyota’s Slow Awakening to a Deadly Problem.” It’s a good read, worth your time. This Week, Congress Starts Asking Questions About Toyota Now, Congress has become involved, investigating why Toyota has known about this problem since 2002, without resolution of the potentially fatal glitch in some of its models these 8 years later. Two Congressional Committees are looking into Toyota’s sudden acceleration issue: the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee led by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) will be holding a hearing into the matter on February 25th; and this week, the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, headed by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) requested documentation on the issue from Toyota and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. What’s Going On Here? Several vehicles made by Toyota, and sold either as Toyota models or Lexus models, have been subject to voluntary recalls by Toyota Motor Company (over 6,000,000 vehicles covered here) because of a problem with their sudden, involuntary acceleration of the car. Extremely popular cars like Camrys and Corollas are involved. What happens? The car just starts speeding up, apparently, and Toyota has explained this dangerous event away as being a problem caused by the gas pedal sticking, or the pedal getting caught up in the carpeted floor mat. February 1, 2010 – Toyota’s Latest Recall Today, Toyota issued another recall. On its website, it’s announcing that drivers of the following cars should check with their dealer about a fix that will be done to their accelerator pedal (gas pedal). It impacts the following models: Does this solve the problem? Apparently not. The car described in yesterday’s New York Times article was a Lexus ES350 sedan. Driven by an off-duty California Highway Patrolman, the driver along with his wife, daughter, and brother-in-law were killed last August 28th, and it will be interesting to learn what happened in that crash.
Yesterday, the New York Times ran an extensive, overview article covering the growing Toyota scandal regarding an unintended acceleration problem in some of its cars, “Toyota’s Slow Awakening to a Deadly Problem.”
It’s a good read, worth your time.
This Week, Congress Starts Asking Questions About Toyota
Now, Congress has become involved, investigating why Toyota has known about this problem since 2002, without resolution of the potentially fatal glitch in some of its models these 8 years later. Two Congressional Committees are looking into Toyota’s sudden acceleration issue: the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee led by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) will be holding a hearing into the matter on February 25th; and this week, the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, headed by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) requested documentation on the issue from Toyota and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
What’s Going On Here?
Several vehicles made by Toyota, and sold either as Toyota models or Lexus models, have been subject to voluntary recalls by Toyota Motor Company (over 6,000,000 vehicles covered here) because of a problem with their sudden, involuntary acceleration of the car. Extremely popular cars like Camrys and Corollas are involved.
What happens? The car just starts speeding up, apparently, and Toyota has explained this dangerous event away as being a problem caused by the gas pedal sticking, or the pedal getting caught up in the carpeted floor mat.
February 1, 2010 – Toyota’s Latest Recall
Today, Toyota issued another recall. On its website, it’s announcing that drivers of the following cars should check with their dealer about a fix that will be done to their accelerator pedal (gas pedal). It impacts the following models:
Does this solve the problem? Apparently not. The car described in yesterday’s New York Times article was a Lexus ES350 sedan. Driven by an off-duty California Highway Patrolman, the driver along with his wife, daughter, and brother-in-law were killed last August 28th, and it will be interesting to learn what happened in that crash.
The Northwest Indiana Spinal Cord Injury Group and Unite 2 Fight Paralysis would like to extend a sincere thank you for your participation in the Spinal Cord Injury Walk/Roll/Ride 2008.
Your time and donations will go a long way in improving the lives of those with spinal cord injuries living in Northwest Indiana and helping those who fight diligently for a cure for paralysis.
The Northwest Indiana Spinal Cord Injury Group: Our mission is to improve the quality of life for those with spinal cord injuries living in Northwest Indiana, through education, advocacy, peer support, and recreational outings.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 219-531-0055
A few spinal cord injury facts...
- Every 41 minutes, another American sustains a spinal cord injury resulting in paralysis. This translates to an estimated 11,000 new injuries annually.
- The average age at injury is 38, with 56% of all injuries occurring between the ages of 16 and 35. Young adults reaching the peak of their earnings potential.
- In addition to paralysis, secondary conditions resulting from a spinal cord injury include compromised respiratory, bowel, bladder function, as well as chronic urinary tract infections and pressure sores.
- The estimated annual direct costs of care for Americans living with paralysis due to spinal cord injury are $15 billion. One of the costliest conditions in our country.
- Spinal cord injury knows no boundaries. In a split second it could happen to you, a family member, friend, or neighbor.
(1) Spinal Cord Injury Information Center, www.spinalcord.uab.edu
(2) Care Cure; www.sciwire.com
PORTAGE | Attorney Kenneth J. Allen and wife Nina were all smiles Friday morning as they handed bags of food to people at the Portage Food Pantry. The Allens distributed dinners to 100 families in Porter County. Bags for each family dinner will include a canned ham, potatoes, green beans, corn and a brownie mix. Dinners for 300 Lake County families will be distributed in mid-November.
"We all need to step up and do our part and especially in these economic times," said Allen. "We try to do something like this every year."
Leonard Carroll, director of the Portage Food Pantry was pleased with the donations.
"This donation is truly a blessing," Carroll said.
Earlier this year the Allens donated $20,000 to the United Way of Porter County for the Kinderprint child ID kit program, for children in Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties.
"My wife Nina and I are passionate about the need to help the less fortunate," Allen said. "Having worked in the trades and the mills while attending law school, I understand the desperate situation families often find themselves caught in, particularly when the economy is less than robust. There is no sadder situation than when parents are unable to feed their children. I hope this sends a message to our community that the need is here -- in Northwest Indiana -- and I hope others will step up so that no child or adult goes hungry."
Rosemary Arambula of Portage was one of the recipients of the donation.
"I've been here before, and this is the best pantry," she said. "It's nice to get extra food for the holidays."
CROWN POINT | Lawyers for victims of the July 4 suspension footbridge collapse and the Ross Township trustee agreed to finalize a deal that would preserve the remains of the bridge for inspection by structural experts.
Valparaiso lawyer Kenneth J. Allen and other attorneys gathered Wednesday morning in Lake County Circuit Court for a brief preliminary hearing in a $5.5 million lawsuit against Ross Township and Township Trustee John Rooda, who oversees Hidden Lake Park, the site of a fireworks event that drew the crowd to the bridge that night.
The court had previously granted Allen a temporary restraining order to preserve evidence from the collapse scene. Lawyers said Wednesday they hope to have a final hearing on the matter July 29.
There were no fatalities when the bridge gave way at the close of the fireworks display, but more than 25 people who fell into the water were injured. It is estimated around 100 people were on the bridge when it collapsed. - By Bill Dolan, The Times
MERRILLVILLE | A Gary woman injured in a Fourth of July bridge collapse at Hidden Lake Park filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking more than $5 million in damages.
Treneice Campbell said she thought she was going to die when the wooden pedestrian bridge she was on collapsed after a fireworks display at the Merrillville park.
Campbell, 37, who was one of the most seriously injured victims of the collapse, reported suffering spinal and leg fractures. She filed the lawsuit along with her husband, Lawrence Campbell, 41, who also was on the bridge when it gave way.
The lawsuit, which targets Ross Township and Township Trustee John Rooda -- the entity and person responsible for the park and the fireworks event -- seeks $5 million for Treneice Campbell and $500,000 for her husband.
"We intend to hold those in charge fully accountable for the harm they've caused the Campbell family and the other victims," said Valparaiso personal injury attorney Kenneth J. Allen, who is representing the Campbells.
Allen also requested a temporary restraining order seeking to preserve evidence until the cases are resolved.
At a news conference Wednesday at Allen's office, Campbell -- sitting in a wheelchair -- recounted her moment of horror.
"I heard a snap and fell in the water," she said.
"It was just a very, very scary moment."
Another of Allen's clients at the news conference, Markieta Moore, 22, of Merrillville, said she suffered a back injury she fears will derail her plans to become a pilot.
Moore, who said she can't swim, was with her 5-year-old daughter, Maijah Brewer, when both fell into the water.
"Where's my daughter?" Moore recalled thinking before they were safely reunited.
Allen, who reported to be considering representing a dozen of the bridge collapse victims, said the incident never should have happened. He hopes the legal action, filed in Lake County, will prevent "this kind of predictable and preventable event from ever happening again."
Crown Point attorney Jewell Harris Jr. said he is representing bridge collapse victims Delvert and Sherry Cole, of Merrillville, and he expects to file a lawsuit by Friday. Sherry Cole suffered serious leg injuries, Harris said.
Allen, in the lawsuit he prepared, stated the township has an obligation to maintain Hidden Lake Park and its structures, to warn about dangers and to provide crowd control at events.
Allen said it is "inexcusable" that an estimated 100 fireworks spectators were allowed on a bridge known to be unsafe if used by more than 40 people, and that the users were not alerted to the potential danger. He said in the past, police officers would control the number of people exiting via the bridge. Rooda could not be reached Wednesday for comment about the lawsuit.
The bridge collapse happened about 10 p.m. Saturday. Authorities and witnesses said a large crowd was on the bridge when it fell and some occupants were jumping and bouncing on it.
About 50 of the people on the bridge tumbled into the water. About 25 of them were injured, and there were no fatalities.
The investigation into the cause of the bridge collapse continues, but authorities have focused their attention on a rusty I-beam.
Rooda, in an earlier interview, said construction of the bridge was completed in 1981, about two years before he became Ross Township trustee. He was told the span could handle about 40 people at one time.
Rooda said maintenance personnel inspected the bridge at least monthly, and no structural problems were noticed before the collapse. Rooda said he began preliminary discussions with an engineer Tuesday about building a new bridge but did not reach a decision. Allen pledged to donate $25,000 of any attorney fees he receives from the lawsuit to rebuild the bridge.
Allen said victims -- who suffered everything from "fright and terror to a broken back and leg" -- continue to contact him. He had not decided if the case will involve individual lawsuits or a class-action suit.
| Sunday, March 22, 2009 |
Valparaiso attorney Kenneth J. Allen won the largest jury judgment in Indiana during 2008, according to the 2008 Indiana Jury Verdict Reporter.
The publication reported that Allen topped the list of Indiana attorneys because of the $48 million judgment a Lake County jury awarded to a Porter County steelworker that Allen represented. The steelworker fell from a ladder and suffered spinal injuries that left him a paraplegic.
Allen also tops the list of attorneys with almost $135 million in judgments since 2000. He won million-dollar verdicts in every year since 2003.
Allen said rules placed upon attorneys prevent him from advertising his successes. But he said it is valuable for consumers to know how often their attorney wins jury trials and, when they win, how much do they win. -- By Times Staff
Indiana's tort reform system handling medical malpractice lawsuits protects negligent doctors and insurance companies, a local attorney said Tuesday.
Attorney Ken Allen and his client, Peggy Hood, have been fighting for compensation since they filed suit against a doctor in 2004 for negligence resulting in a woman's death.
Attorney Ken Allen and his client, Peggy Hood, have been fighting for compensation since they filed suit against a doctor in 2004 for negligence resulting in a woman's death.
But Dr. Mark Weinberger disappeared shortly after that and hasn't been found since.
On Friday, a panel of physicians unanimously found Weinberger guilty of negligence causing Phyllis Barnes' death. Barnes, who was Hood's sister, died in 2004.
The panel of three doctors were randomly selected through a process from the Indiana Department of Insurance.
Allen and Hood held a news conference Tuesday afternoon at his Valparaiso law office to denounce the state's tort reform laws.
"It's an unjust law and this case underscores that," Allen said.
The Barnes case is the first one to receive a judgment against Weinberger of the hundreds of lawsuits filed since he fled.
But even with the panel's verdict, the department of insurance can still defend Weinberger and delay the compensation under the state's current tort reform system, Allen said.
That would force the family to go through a jury trial before receiving the state-capped $1.25 million compensation.
Tort reform legislation in Indiana was enacted in the late 1980s and has gone through several modifications since.
The system extends the time for insurance companies to pay the claims as families incur higher legal costs, he said.
"It's a broken system," he said. "It's all a scheme to delay."
Barnes came to Weinberger's office with a sore throat in 2001. She had cancer of the larynx but Weinberger diagnosed the condition as a sinus problem and performed sinus surgery.
Illinois does not have similar system.
"The family would have been compensated by now (if the case happened in Illinois)," Allen said.
Barnes' 23-year-old daughter, living in California, would be the beneficiary of compensation, Hood said. The daughter was 16 years old when her mother died.
Although there have been sightings in Greece and France years ago, Weinberger, who's been featured on America's Most Wanted, has not been found since.
Weinberger, who ran his clinic in Merrillville, disappeared from numerous lawsuits and $5.7 million in debt.
Valparaiso - Mr. & Mrs. Allen donated $1,000 to the Unite 2 Fight Paralysis & the Northwest Indiana Spinal Cord Injury Walk. The walk was held at the Porter County at the Old Fairgrounds Park on September 21st. Hundreds attended the event. It
BY ANNETTE ARNOLD
219.548.4359 | Saturday, August 30, 2008 |
VALPARAISO | Kindergartners at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School received a gift from local attorney Kenneth J. Allen on Friday morning.
Allen and his wife, Nina, donated money to United Way of Porter County so that all kindergartners in Lake, LaPorte and Porter counties would be equipped with child ID kits.
The goal is to equip parents with a record containing their child's DNA, fingerprints, photos so that they can provide this data immediately to the authorities in case a child turns up missing.
Melissa Castle-Kirincic, resource development director with United way of Porter County, handed out the kits to the children.
"From Ken and Nina's very generous gift to United Way, we've dispersed more than 18,000 child ID kits, thus far, to elementary schools throughout Lake, LaPorte and Porter counties," Castle-Kirincic said.
Allen spoke to the kindergartners in Elaina Spratley's class.
"You kids are all very special," Allen said. "It is important that you talk to mom and dad about safety, and it is important to know about strangers. Always stay by people you know."
Allen said credit for the donation goes to his wife.
"This was my wife's idea," Allen said. "We want kids to take these kits home and have a discussion with their parents about safety and strangers."
BY MARISA KWIATKOWSKI
| Friday, July 04, 2008
CROWN POINT | Eighteen-month-old Christopher Bartzis' last words were "Uh oh, Mommy," said his father, Chris Bartzis.
When the beaming little boy died of meningitis April 17, 2002, his Hammond family shattered.
"He was the best baby I've ever seen in my life, and not just because he was mine," said Bartzis, now of Whiting. "He was the light in our home and in our family."
Chris and Karen Bartzis accepted a $1.25 million settlement last month from the Indiana Patient's Compensation Fund and Munster-based pediatrician Azra Sheriff in connection with their son's death. The now-divorced couple sued Sheriff in Lake County Superior Court after a medical malpractice panel found in 2006 that the doctor committed malpractice in caring for the toddler.
It is the second time a panel determined malpractice in Sheriff's care of a patient, the state compensation fund's online database shows.
Only 10 percent of complaints filed with the panel are found to involve malpractice, according to a Times review of data in the Indiana Patient's Compensation Fund 2007 annual report.
Although it found malpractice in the Bartzis' case, the medical panel determined Sheriff's conduct did not harm or cause the death of Christopher.
"Dr. Sheriff gave excellent care in this case," said the doctor's attorney, Sharon Stanzione. "We do not feel she did anything wrong. However, we were very concerned about the sympathy factor to a jury, given the death of a child from meningitis. It was in all the parties' best interests to have the matter resolved."
The Bartzises contend Sheriff caused their son's death by incorrectly diagnosing his meningitis as a stomach problem.
"Dr. Sheriff was not vigilant or in tune with (Christopher's) symptoms," said attorney Kenneth J. Allen, who represented the Bartzises. "She was not doing anything to alleviate them."
Christopher died of an "extremely rare" form of meningitis, Stanzione said.
Sheriff had vaccinated the child against the most common types of meningitis, Stanzione said, adding Sheriff has been a doctor more than 25 years and is board certified in pediatrics and neonatology.
Christopher's first symptoms showed up April 6, 2002, after a birthday party, court records say. The normally cheerful toddler was irritable, throwing up and screaming.
Karen Bartzis tried to take her son to Sheriff but didn't have enough money for the visit, Allen said. Instead, she brought him to an emergency room, where personnel sent him home.
Christopher continued to get worse, so Karen Bartzis brought him to Community Hospital in Munster, where he was put back under Sheriff's care.
He continued to decline. On April 12, 2002, Christopher had a seizure.
The family and Sheriff say they initiated Christopher's transfer to the University of Chicago Hospitals, where he was diagnosed a short time later with meningitis.
An antibiotic treatment and brain surgery failed to cure Christopher, and he died April 17, 2002.
The medical panel determined Sheriff's actions on the last day of Christopher's stay at the Munster hospital amounted to malpractice, claiming the doctor should have done a spinal tap and administered antibiotics earlier.
"It's the most devastating thing that's ever happened to me," Chris Bartzis said. "I've dealt with a lot of death in my life ... but he was so young."
May 17, 2008
The family of a Gary Roosevelt High School math teacher who was killed when a tractor-trailer rear-ended her van two weeks ago has filed a $50 million lawsuit against the trucking company
Kenneth J. Allen, a Valparaiso attorney who represents the family, filed the lawsuit against Schneider National Carrier Inc. of Gary and its driver, Justin R. Wallace of Pennsylvania.
Allen called the death "clearly avoidable" and a result of "negligence." He's filed a petition for a temporary restraining order to preserve crash evidence.
"We are trying to protect this family's right to know the truth," Allen said. "This was a tragedy for the family and the community."
According to documents filed in Lake Circuit Court on Friday, Wallace was driving a tractor-trailer with Schneider logos on May 4 west on U.S. 30 near County Road 300W in Columbia City, when he "violently struck" the Oldsmobile van driven by Gates. The van was stopped at a signal light in front of another vehicle.
Gates, 59, had been a Gary teacher for more than three decades and participated in the Amateur Athletic Union with Gary-area children.
Allen said he met with her husband, Samuel W. Gates, who was a passenger during the crash, and prepared the case.
"We intend to hold the responsible defendants fully accountable for the harm they caused," Allen said. "She was a gifted teacher who inspired her students to do better, and she will be missed."
The request for a restraining order forbids alteration of any truck equipment, including any onboard event recorder and electronic control module -- which may have data on the truck's speed, brake conditions, and hours of services.
Allen said he believes the crash was caused by Schneider cutting back on maintaining costly safety standards due to the high price of diesel gas.
"It's a trend we don't want to see continued," Allen said
BY KEN KOSKY
219.548.4354 | Tuesday, April 08, 2008 |
Attorney Kenneth J. Allen -- who helped a Valparaiso man win a $20 million verdict against Allstate insurance company in 2006 -- said at the time that Allstate acts in bad faith by making policyholders choose between a poor settlement or a long, drawn out legal fight.
Allen said the company's "scheme" to divert money from policyholders to shareholders will be out in the open now that the company was forced into publicly releasing the "McKinsey Documents." The documents include 150,000 pages of records detailing the plan Allstate implemented in 1995 to increase profits by reducing claims payouts, Allen said.
Allen said a Florida appellate court upheld the suspension of Allstate's license in the state for refusing to provide the McKinsey Documents to Florida's insurance commissioner. Rather than lose its business in Florida, Allstate then released the documents, Allen said.
Allstate spokesman Mike Siemienas said the documents were not released due to the Florida decision, but rather for several reasons, including the need to address misunderstandings.
Siemienas said trial lawyers, who have a vested interest in painting Allstate in a negative light, do so by taking snippets of the documents out of context. He said Allstate settled millions of claims last year and earned high rates of policy renewal.
"We pay the appropriate amount in a timely manner," Siemienas said.
Allen, however, said insurers traditionally pay out 70 cents on the dollar for claims, but Allstate began paying 52 cents on the dollar to return millions to shareholders.
Allen said the client for whom he won $20 million, Ted K. Fields, suffered spinal injuries in a 1995 crash. After the insolvency of the insurer for the person who caused the crash, Allstate became responsible under the uninsured motorist coverage it sold Fields.
Fields suffered $7,000 in medical bills and $18,000 in lost wages, but Allen said Allstate forced Fields into a nearly 10-year battle. Allen said many people yield to Allstate's tactics, but Fields would not.
Allen said a doctor and psychiatrist testified during the two-week trial that the stress caused by Allstate's actions contributed to Fields' rise in blood pressure, which led to heart problems and a stroke.
"Allstate's misconduct in dragging out the Fields' claims followed the McKinsey plan to the letter," Allen said.
The $20 million awarded to Fields by a Lake County jury was appealed by Allstate, but Allen expects a decision on the appeal within 30 days.
Siemienas said there was a case against Allstate in Kentucky in which the McKinsey Documents were presented in context and the jury found in favor of Allstate. He said Allstate was justified in fighting the release of the 150,000 pages of documents because they contain trade secrets, and he said they also contain ideas never implemented.
| Tuesday, December 25, 2007 |
VALPARAISO | For the past ten years, Northwest Indiana injury attorney Kenneth J. Allen and his wife, Nina, have given thousands of gifts to needy children during the Christmas holiday. Last year, for example, the Allens gave $50 to every child living in area shelters during the holidays, distributed by United Way partner agency shelters in the form of gift certificates which enabled parents or guardians to select suitable gifts for each child. In years past, the Allens have spent tens of thousands of dollars buying, and often wrapping, gifts for needy children.
"This year we decided to do something slightly different," said Nina Allen. "We wanted to make a gift of safety and security to the families with young children in all of Northwest Indiana."
Through a generous gift to the UNITED WAY, the Allens are funding the purchase of Child Identification kits for every Kindergarten-aged child in Lake, LaPorte and Porter Counties public and private schools. Each of the self-contained kits provide the tools and instructions for taking fingerprints, DNA samples, photos, and dental records of the children.
"These I.D. kits will provide vital information to law enforcement if a child should go lost or missing," injury attorney Allen said. "They should also provide a sense of security and safety to parents and serve as a gentle reminder to them to speak with their children about personal safety."
"In the end, it's ultimately about our kids and their safety," said Allen, who was the recipient of the Fifth Annual Child Safety Advocate Award "for outstanding dedication in forwarding the issues of child safety" awarded by the I.U. School of Medicine and the Indiana Safe Kids Coalition.
The Allens also plan a public awareness campaign on the importance of obtaining an I.D. kit beginning early next year.
"If only one lost or missing child is located because of these kits, or a child's abduction is prevented, our efforts will be richly rewarded," said the Allens.
--The NWI Times
BY KEN KOSKY
219.548.4354 | Tuesday, October 16, 2007
A $50 million lawsuit was filed Monday against the city of Gary and its Police Department for failing to find two young men ejected from a car during a crash one month ago.
The young men -- Brandon Smith and Dominique Green, both 18 -- were found dead by family members hours after the crash. Personal injury attorney Kenneth J. Allen, who is representing Green's parents, alleges in the lawsuit Green was alive at the time police ignored pleas to search for the pair.
"There is no excuse for what the officers did not do at the scene of this crash," Allen said.
"It shocks the conscience and can't be tolerated."
Assistant Gary City Attorney Jerome Taylor declined comment on the lawsuit.
Allen plans to seek court permission to exhume Green's body to find evidence to contradict an earlier autopsy report from the Lake County coroner's office that says the young men died instantly.
Allen contends Green's body had extensive bruising and swelling, indicating he was alive after the crash.
Lake Superior Court Judge William Davis has issued an injunction preserving evidence in the case, like the 911 tape Allen said supports his clients' contention that police knew there were missing accident victims but did not search for them.
Allen and his clients, Willie Green Jr. and Jacquelyn Green, also dispute the Police Department's contention that the bodies were 95 to 120 feet from the crashed car. He said family members quickly found the teens just 15 feet from the crash site.
The single-vehicle crash occurred about 1:30 a.m. Sept. 15 in the 2700 block of Chase Street in Gary. The driver, 17-year-old Darius Moore, and a surviving passenger, both pleaded for police to find Smith and Green, Allen said.
The lawsuit, which names responding Gary police Officer Jeff Westerfield, the Police Department and the city, seeks $50 million. But Allen and his clients said the lawsuit is all about finding the truth and making sure the city changes its protocol so that this type of incident doesn't happen again.
Allen said it is "criminal" what happened to the victims, and he said the Gary Police Department showed disregard for human life. Green's mother said she knows her son was alive after the crash, and her son is not with her today because of police negligence.
"The closure (for the family) will come when the truth comes out," Allen said.
He said he has not talked to the Smith family about representing them.