Madison County jurors award motorist $77K in suit over Godfrey collision

Madison County jurors awarded motorist Kyle Plummer $77,800 during a re-trial for a lawsuit involving a Godfrey collision.

The re-trial began April 17 in Circuit Judge Sarah Smith’s courtroom. Jurors reached their verdict on April 19, awarding Plummer $20,000 for medical expenses, $52,800 for lost earnings and $5,000 for pain and suffering.

Jurors previously awarded plaintiff Kyle Plummer $20,000 following a November 2021 trial. Plummer was awarded $10,000 for medical expenses, $5,000 for lost earnings and $5,000 for pain and suffering.

Plummer filed a motion for either additur or a new trial on Nov. 24, 2021, through attorneys Timothy Chartrand and Taylor Fehrenz of Williamson Webster Falb & Glisson in Alton.

He argued that the original verdict was “manifestly inadequate and the amount awarded bears no reasonable relationship to the loss suffered by plaintiff.”

Plummer claims he presented facts that he would need a future ACDIF fusion surgery, which would cost roughly as low as $53,800 but could cost up to $80,000.

He added that because there would be no light work available for him to complete after his fusion surgery, he would need to be off work for up to one year and could lose wages from $24,000 to $96,000.

“Here, the jury clearly believed that plaintiff was going to incur reasonable future medical expenses and lost wages due to the injury sustained in the collision at issue because the jury awarded an amount for both types of damages,” the motion stated. “However, the amounts the jury awarded for both the future medical expenses and future lost wages were manifestly inadequate and bear no reasonable relationship to the loss suffered by the plaintiff.”

According to a statement of the case filed before the original trial in October 2021, defendant Natalia Bishop admits she negligently caused the collision while speeding and driving while distracted. The issue before the jury is the nature and extent of damages.

Plummer filed the original complaint against Bishop on Oct. 29, 2019.

He later filed a two-count amended complaint on Sept. 24, 2020.

He claims he was driving a 1998 Chevrolet Malibu on Nov. 2, 2018, when he was stopped at a red light on West Delmar Avenue at its intersection with West Homer Adams Parkway in Godfrey. Plummer claims he was facing eastbound at the intersection. At the same time, Bishop was driving a 2001 Toyota Highlander on West Delmar Avenue and was approaching the intersection with West Homer Adams Parkway.

Plummer alleges Bishop negligently crashed into the rear of his vehicle “with enough force” to cause him to then hit the rear of the vehicle in front of him.

Plummer claims Bishop owed a duty of reasonable and ordinary care in operating her vehicle when she negligently failed to reduce her speed to avoid the collision, failed to keep a proper lookout, drove too fast for conditions, failed to warn of the impending collision, drove too closely to Plummer’s vehicle, drove while distracted and failed to swerve to avoid the collision.

As a result of the collision, Plummer claims he sustained injuries to his head, neck, back, arms, and ears, among other parts of his body. He alleges he endured pain and suffering, lost his normal life and incurred medical expenses.

This article was first published in Madison Record.

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