Ann Maher Jan. 21, 2014, 7:39am

Imo's Franchising Inc. is seeking to offset a $2.3 million Madison County jury verdict  leveled against it in 2011 by intervening in a newer lawsuit.

The pizza company says it has the right to seek contribution from Kenneth and Lisa Lyerla who may be liable for all or part of the judgment under the Joint Tortfeasor Contribution Act.

Following a week-long trial on Dec. 13, 2011, a $2,284,500.68 judgment was awarded to plaintiff Matthew Bruntjen over injuries he suffered in an accident with Imo's delivery driver Kenneth Lyerla on Aug. 17, 2009.

Imo's appealed the verdict to the Fifth District Appellate Court. Oral arguments were heard on June 13, 2013, and the matter remains pending.

In the interim, Bruntjen filed the action against the Lyerlas over his injuries. The Lyerlas had been named in the original action but were dismissed without prejudice. Kenneth Lyerla had admitted liability for the accident.

Imo's is represented by Russell Scott of the Greesfelder firm in Belleville.

Scott wrote in a Dec. 13 petition to intervene that the Lyerlas moved to stay the Bruntjen suit pending the outcome of Imo's appeal, which was granted.

Charles Armbruster of Alton represents Bruntjen.

Michael Hobin of Edwardsville represents the Lyerlas.

Madison County case number 12-L-1472

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