Open Accessibility Menu

Wrongful Death Case, Family's Attorney Todd Smith Featured in Rockford Register

The family of Joy Lambert filed a wrongful death lawsuit on August 18 after Lambert was killed in what is alleged to be an unjustifiable police chase on February 8, 2016.

The police chase in question reportedly reached speeds of 83 miles per hour through rush hour traffic and lasted for two and a half miles. It ended when the car Deputy Christopher Moski was pursuing slammed into Lambert’s car killing her.

The wrongful death suit names Moski, Laronda Graham – the suspected driver of the vehicle that crashed into Lambert’s car, the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office, and Winnebago County as defendants in the civil suit.

Power Rogers & Smith attorney Todd A. Smith is one of the attorneys representing the family. During his investigation, he looked into the police department’s recently implemented pursuit policy changes. The changes occurred in September of 2015, and lifted various restrictions on when deputies are allowed to pursue fleeing vehicles. One of the lifted restrictions prevented officers from chasing a vehicle after a traffic violation; Moski reportedly began the chase after Graham was speeding.

The policy change has caused a dramatic rise in police chases in Winnebago County. There were only 17 chases in 2014, compared to 75 in 2015, and 110 already in 2016.

Addressing the tragedy, Smith said:

“There was something terribly wrong that Joy Lambert left home that morning, along with a lot of other people traveling the same roads, along with children getting on buses for school, and she was killed as a result of a police chase."

For any questions about this case, please contact Todd Smith or his assistant Kathy Beardsley at 312-236-9381.