The family of a Chicago woman killed in an August Morton
Grove car crash have brought a wrongful death action against the other driver,
a Glenview man who has been charged with reckless homicide and aggravated
driving under the influence, and who three years earlier had been let off by a
judge on drug charges amid allegations of perjury by the arresting officers.
On Nov. 1, Joshua R. Turner, the adult son of Denise Cavada,
filed suit in Cook County Circuit Court against Joshua Sperling, asking a judge
to order Sperling to pay the family damages which “substantially exceeds
$100,000” for his role in Cavada’s death.
The complaint centered on the fatal car crash that claimed
Cavada’s life on Aug. 26. According to the lawsuit, a Lexus automobile driven
by Sperling, 26, struck the car driven by Cavada, 48, at the intersection of Golf Road
and Julie Road in Morton Grove.
According to a report published in the Chicago Tribune,
prosecutors said witnesses had seen Sperling’s vehicle speeding down Golf Road,
and weaving in and out of traffic, including driving on the median to pass
another vehicle before colliding with Cavada’s vehicle. Prosecutors said they
believed Sperling’s car was traveling at about 90 mph when it struck Cavada’s
car. The Tribune report indicated Cavada’s vehicle had split in two from the
force of the collision.
According to Cavada’s family’s lawsuit, Cavada’s vehicle also
burst into flames following the collision.
Prosecutors said Sperling had fled the scene on foot
following the collision, hiding in a parking lot.
Prosecutors and the family’s lawsuit noted Sperling had
driven while intoxicated. Prosecutors said he had been drinking with friends at
bars in Des Plaines and Niles before the crash.
Prosecutors charged Sperling in connection with Cavada’s
death in the days following the crash.
Turner and Cavada’s family are represented in the wrongful
death action by attorney Brian J. Lewis, of the firm of Gibson Lewis, of
Three years before the crash, Sperling had been arrested in
connection with possession of about a pound of marijuana following a traffic
stop. However, those charges had been dismissed by Cook County Judge Catherine
Haberkorn after Sperling’s lawyer produced video of the traffic stop, which contradicted police officers' testimony concerning how they had searched Sperling
and his car during that traffic stop.
Those officers were later officially charged with perjury
and official misconduct.
Sperling had sued the village of Glenview and the city of
Chicago over the arrest, receiving a $195,000 settlement deal.
That arrest, however, had followed several other run-ins
with the law, including over allegations of burglary and delivery of marijuana.
He also had pleaded guilty to reckless driving in 2008, according to the