The Illinois Tollway Association is paying the insurance companies that cover the state’s toll roads millions of dollars in compensation for a lawsuit filed by a driver who died after colliding with a toll road. 

Illinois Tollway President John B. Kavanagh said Monday that the state will pay the insurers about $1 million for the insurance claims. 

The association is suing the three major insurance companies over the death of Michael Smith, who died of blunt force trauma when he fell off a tollway ramp during a test run on March 2, 2019. 

“I’m pleased that the insurance company has agreed to pay the settlement,” Kavanagh said. 

Smith died two days later after he was struck by a car driven by his friend, who was not insured, at the Illinois Tollways facility in Illinois City. 

In the lawsuit, Kavanagahes lawyers allege that the insurers “knowingly and willfully failed to conduct adequate and timely testing on toll roads in the years prior to and following Smith’s death, and the resulting deaths and injuries resulted from the negligent and intentional acts of the insurers.”

The lawsuit was filed by Kavanah, Illinois Toll Company, Illinois Traffic Services, and Illinois Toll Roads in Chicago. 

Kavanagh did not say when the payout was announced. 

It is not the first time that Illinois Toll Road has settled insurance claims with the insurance carriers.

In 2015, the Illinois State Tollway and Illinois Transportation Authority paid $1.8 million to settle a class action lawsuit brought by a pedestrian killed by a vehicle driven by an insurer. 

More recently, the State Tollways Insurance Agency paid $750,000 to settle claims with several insurers over the deaths of two drivers and the injuries they suffered while colliding at the Indiana Tollway. 

If you are injured or killed while riding a tollroad, contact the Illinois Department of Transportation toll-road safety hotline at 1-866-435-2787.