Court Awards $1.75M In Schmucker Wrongful Death Lawsuit

November 16, 2023 at 7:32 p.m.

By JACKIE GORSKI Lifestyles Editor

The Elkhart Circuit Court awarded the estate of Edith Jo Schmucker $1,750,000 in the wrongful death lawsuit regarding the crash that killed Schmucker and U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski and two of her staffers.
The order approving the settlement, dated Nov. 7, stated it was also ordered attorneys’ fees shall be paid as provided in the approved Stipulation for Compromise Settlement and Release.
“The court finds that the reimbursable costs and expenses associated with asserting the estate’s claims pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act are $14,585.64, and that such costs are fair, reasonable and necessary,” the order stated.
Schmucker, 56, died without a will. The court appointed special administrators for her estate. Her son will receive the proceeds from the wrongful death lawsuit.
On Aug. 3, 2022, Walorski, 58, was one of two passengers in a Toyota RAV4, driven by Zach Potts, 27, one of her staffers, going north on Ind. 19 in Elkhart County. The RAV4 crossed over the center line to try to pass a slower-moving vehicle and hit a Buick LeSabre, driven by Schmucker, 56, a Nappanee native, traveling south.
Walorski, Potts, Schmucker and Emma Thomson, 28, Walorski’s communication director, were killed in the two-vehicle collision.


The Elkhart Circuit Court awarded the estate of Edith Jo Schmucker $1,750,000 in the wrongful death lawsuit regarding the crash that killed Schmucker and U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski and two of her staffers.
The order approving the settlement, dated Nov. 7, stated it was also ordered attorneys’ fees shall be paid as provided in the approved Stipulation for Compromise Settlement and Release.
“The court finds that the reimbursable costs and expenses associated with asserting the estate’s claims pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act are $14,585.64, and that such costs are fair, reasonable and necessary,” the order stated.
Schmucker, 56, died without a will. The court appointed special administrators for her estate. Her son will receive the proceeds from the wrongful death lawsuit.
On Aug. 3, 2022, Walorski, 58, was one of two passengers in a Toyota RAV4, driven by Zach Potts, 27, one of her staffers, going north on Ind. 19 in Elkhart County. The RAV4 crossed over the center line to try to pass a slower-moving vehicle and hit a Buick LeSabre, driven by Schmucker, 56, a Nappanee native, traveling south.
Walorski, Potts, Schmucker and Emma Thomson, 28, Walorski’s communication director, were killed in the two-vehicle collision.


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