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$6.7M settlement for family of woman killed by bus

Published: Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013 6:23 p.m. CDT

CHICAGO – A tour bus company has agreed to pay $6.7 million to the family of a woman struck and killed by a driver who authorities say had cocaine in his system.

Twenty-six-year-old Justyna Palka was struck in May 2011 while crossing a street in the near North Side neighborhood of Streeterville.

The diver, 47-year-old David Soto, remains in jail and faces an aggravated DUI charge as well as other, unrelated charges.

The woman's family sued the bus company, Pontarelli Group Charter, alleging it was negligent and failed to carry out background checks when hiring the driver.

The family's attorneys said Wednesday the company also agreed to give $500 a year to a memorial scholarship fund at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where Palka had studied.

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