Motorist sues over crash with vehicle stolen from East St. Louis store

A motorist claims she was injured when an unattended vehicle was stolen from an East St. Louis store, and the driver caused a crash by running a stop sign.

filed a negligence lawsuit after she got into a collision with an unknown driver who stole a vehicle from a parking lot.

Plaintiff Paris Starks filed a lawsuit in the St. Clair County Circuit Court against defendants Leslie Murphy, Nyokie Murphy, and unknown driver “John Doe,” citing negligence and carelessness.

According to the lawsuit, Nyokie Murphy was operating a vehicle owned by Leslie Murphy with her permission on April 19, 2021. Nyokie claims she drove the vehicle to a store in East St. Louis, which is allegedly located in a high-crime area. She left the vehicle in the parking lot unattended with the doors unlocked, the keys in the ignition and the engine running when she went into the store. The lawsuit states that while the vehicle was unattended, an unknown individual stole the car, ran past a stop sign at an intersection and crashed into a vehicle being driven by the plaintiff at high speeds.

Starks alleges Nyokie was negligent in leaving the car unattended with the doors unlocked, the keys in the ignition and the engine running in a high-crime area. She claims that as the vehicle was in Nyokie’s possession, she had a duty to restrict the use of the vehicle from third parties including theft and unauthorized use. Leslie is included in the lawsuit as she gave permission to Nyokie to use the vehicle.

As a result of the collision, Starks claims she has suffered damages to her vehicle. She also claims she sustained injuries that have caused her to experience pain, suffering and emotional distress. She alleges her ability to enjoy normal life and earn income has been impacted. Starks states that as a result of her injuries, she has incurred medical costs and will continue to require medical care to recover from their injuries.

Starks is seeking damages in excess of $50,000, plus court costs, interest, attorney fees and any other relief the court deems proper.

This article was first published in Madison Record.

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