XtDsXed-12If you have a known medical condition subjecting you to a potential loss of consciousness, you may be negligent for causing injuries due to the medical condition.

Essentially, negligence is the failure to exercise ordinary or reasonable care that results in harm to another party. That being said, the harm must be foreseeable. Therefore, if you are unaware of a medical condition, or the reason subjecting you to a blackout, you could not have anticipated the danger. However, if you are aware of a potential loss of consciousness, then you are putting others at risk each time you get behind the wheel of your car.

Johnny Felton, Jr. is likely negligent for the wrongful death of Illinois State Police Trooper Kyle Deatherage

A federal agency says Johnny Felton, Jr. lost consciousness before his tractor-trailer struck and killed Illinois State Trooper Kyle Deatherage near Litchfield, Illinois on Nov.26, 2012. The U.S. Department of Transportation issued an order Friday declaring Felton an “imminent hazard” and barred him from commercial driving. Felton, 51, of Hinesville, Gegoria, has a medical condition that should have made him ineligible for a commercial license, the department said.

He has been a driver with Dot Transportation Inc. (DTI), of Mount Sterling, Illinois, since Oct. 15, 2007, and is based at the Vidalia, Geogia offices. The company said it removed Felton from the road after the crash, per policy, pending the outcome of the investigation. The company said it is independently investigating the circumstances. “It is also DTI’s policy that no driver will drive for DTI unless he or she is in full compliance with the Federal Motor Safety Act and has a valid medical card issued by the Department of Transportation-certified physician,” the release stated. “The driver involved in this accident has a valid medical card.”

The transportation department said Felton told officers at the scene that he suffers from a medical condition that causes loss of consciousness. “Felton’s current medical condition renders him unqualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle,” the federal order states. Felton declined to comment when reached by a reporter for the Associated Press.

Deatherage, 32, of St. Jacob, tragically died on impact when he was struck by the truck while standing along Interstate 55 after making a traffic stop, about 60 miles northeast of St. Louis. He is survived by his wife and two young children.


According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website, DTI drivers have been involved in 48 crashes in the past two years, including 18 that resulted in injuries. In this case, not only was Felton negligent for putting the general public at risk, but DTI may also be negligent if it did not require a medical background from its employee driver. Sadly, the Illinois community lost a valuable member of its society due to DTI’s careless employee.

As a community, we must continue to hold those accountable who needlessly endanger our friends and family. If you have been a victim of negligence, please contact the Lieser Law Firm, LLC at 314-862-7805 to learn about your potential claim.

Together we can raise awareness.