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Valpo woman awarded $43.5 million in wake of Ind. 49 crash
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Valpo woman awarded $43.5 million in wake of Ind. 49 crash

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Ind. 49 crash

Provided photo of May 11, 2016 crash involving Cynthia Kroft, 52, of Valparaiso, at Ind. 49 and Gateway Boulevard.

VALPARAISO — A jury awarded a Valparaiso woman $43.5 million after she was rear-ended by a semi-truck five years ago while waiting at a traffic light on Ind. 49 at Gateway Boulevard, according to her attorney, Kenneth J. Allen.

"The Krofts are a wonderful couple and the verdict recognized the enormity of their loss, although no amount of money is sufficient to compensate them for what they’ve been through," Allen said.

The award came following last week's trial in Chicago, where the trucking firm, Viper Transportation, is located, he said.

Cynthia Kroft had just finished up a shift as an intensive care nurse on May 11, 2016 at what is now Northwest Health Porter hospital and was on her way to see her mother at a rehabilitation unit in Chesterton when the 11:40 p.m. crash occurred, Allen said. The crash resulted in Kroft returning to her hospital as a patient and then being transported to a Chicago-area hospital for further treatment.

Kroft, now 52, suffered injuries to her cervical spine, he said.

"We're thankful to the witnesses who were kind enough to travel from Indiana to testify," said attorney Otto Shragal, who tried the case with Allen.

The civil trial had the distinction of the first held in Chicago since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Allen said.

"Hopefully, this signals that our jury system will return to normalcy, soon," he said.

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Porter/LaPorte County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Bob is a 23-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.

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