LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The son of a Louisville Metro Police detective killed in a Christmas Eve collision on I-64 will receive nearly $14 million in a new settlement.
The collision happened when fired Metropolitan Sewer District employee Roger Burdett was driving a large tanker truck, slammed into the police cruiser of Detective Dee Dee Mengedoht as she made a traffic stop near the Belvedere.
Burdette failed a field sobriety test, was charged with murder and DUI and admitted to taking different prescription drugs.
"That loss is never going to go away, no matter how much money you put on it, but somehow the moneys are going to help this young man and hopefully begin to put closure to this case," said Attorney Ron Hillerich, who handled the wrongful death part of a lawsuit against Burdette and MSD.
“Whether it was recovered in my case at the $10 million or the other case at $3.6 million, he is the sole beneficiary of the money,” he said about her son, who was 9-years-old at the time of the crash.
"Diedre Mengedoht was 32-years-old, very vibrant lady part of the community – she had a great, bright future ahead of her and she left a son, that's one of the losses that will last forever. The young man will never get over the loss of his mother,” he said.
The lawsuit filed in 2019 accuses both Burdette and MSD of being " grossly negligent," and asked the court for money to pay for her lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering and other punitive damages.
"It's just an unfortunate situation that happened that should not have happened," said Jim Ellis, who worked alongside Hillerich in the civil suit.
The mediation in this settlement lasted about 14 hours, one of the longest one-day mediations these lawyers have done in their careers.
"It's not been an easy process, there's been a lot of documents to be gone through, police body cameras, going back to the scene of where the accident was," said Ellis.
"When you see emergency vehicles on the side of the road, slow down and move over," Ellis said. "That's a point that the family wants to public to kind of take away from some of this. It's just an unfortunate situation that happened that should not have happened."
MSD told WHAS11 News the settlement will be paid by insurance.
They also released a statement Monday night.
"The family of Officer Mengedoht, the community, and MSD continue to mourn the loss of Officer Deidre Mengedoht. We continue to offer our condolences."
Hillerich said it will take about 30 days before all of the paperwork is filed and the settlement is complete.