$3.7 Million Trench Accident Settlement

</element><element id="paragraph-1" type="body"><![CDATA[A jury in southwestern Illinois has awarded $3.7 million to the family of one of two construction workers killed in a trench collapse more than three years ago.

Thirty-seven-year-old Ron Yankey of Ellis Grove and a 48-year-old co-worker from Benton, Tom Eickelman, died in March 2008 when soft dirt collapsed into the Millstadt trench they were working in during construction of a sewage treatment plant.

Both families sued the project's general contractor, Followell Construction of Marion. That same company constructed Du Quoin's $7 million wastewater treatment plant a few years ago without incident. An attorney for Yankey's family said that a St. Clair County jury recently sided with Yankey's survivors and awarded them $3.7 million.

A representative from Followell Construction hasn't returned a message seeking comment Monday.

The other family's lawsuit awaits trial.

The jury awarded $1.3 million to Yankey&#39;s widow, Mendy, for lost income and household services. The jury also awarded $1.7 million for grief, loss of society, loss instruction, moral training and superintendence of education to his daughter, Taylor, with another $1.7 million for grief to Mendy, totaling $4.7 million.

The percentage of negligence attributed to Yankey was found to be 20 percent, taking the sum down to $3.7 million. An additional $13,500 was awarded for damages suffered by Yankey before his death.