There are two important tenets in Illinois auto accident law. One is that the driver of the vehicle is responsible for the safety and well-being of his or her passengers. The other is that a company which owns a vehicle is responsible for the actions of the individual who is driving the vehicle.Both of these principles can be found in a wrongful death lawsuit which was filed last month by a woman against several defendants, including a well-known rap artist. The legal action stems from a fatal accident in September of 2004, when the woman’s husband was a passenger in a van with the rapper and five other members of the entertainer’s entourage. The van was en route from Albany, New York back to Chicago when it crashed on a Pennsylvania interstate about five miles from the Ohio state line.The lawsuit states that the person driving the van, which was owned by Showtime Entertainment Agency, did not have a valid driver’s license at the time of the auto accident. The van reportedly left the roadway twice, struck an unknown number of construction barrels, hit a pile of dirt, and rolled over several times. All of the passengers were ejected from the vehicle, and the woman’s husband died while being airlifted to a nearby hospital.Even though the crash occurred in Pennsylvania, the lawsuit was filed in Cook County. It’s unclear why Cook County was chosen as the suit’s venue, as well as why the case is proceeding 7 1/2 years after the original incident (which is well beyond the statute of limitations for a standard auto accident). Defendants include the rapper, Showtime Entertainment Agency, three Showtime employees, and Atlantic Records (the rapper’s record label). In addition to wrongful death, the plaintiff is seeking damages for negligence, negligent hiring and entrustment, and willful and wanton entrustment.