Ann Maher Dec. 10, 2014, 12:20pm

A Madison County jury has awarded a Wood River man $51,564.90 for injuries he sustained four years ago in a Walmart parking lot.

Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth presided over a damages-only trial that began and ended on Dec. 8.

Jurors found in favor of plaintiff Charles Foster and against defendant Jennifer Byrd.

Foster claimed that he and his wife were walking through the parking lot of the Wood River Walmart toward the store entrance on Dec. 1, 2010, when Byrd struck him as she attempted to back her vehicle out of its parking space. Foster was knocked down.

Because of the accident, in addition to his severe injuries, Foster alleged that he suffered pain, lost wages, lost his enjoyment of life and experienced suffering and disability.

Byrd had admitted negligence, but the jury had to decide what damages, if any, were to be awarded.

The 12-person jury awarded $20,000 for pain and suffering, $14,564.90 for medical expenses, $10,000 for loss of a normal life and $7,000 for disfigurement.

Belleville attorney Matthew P. Young represented Foster.

St. Louis attorney James L. Hodges represented Byrd.

Byrd had denied that Foster suffered and will continue to suffer in the future, severe injury and pain, lost wages, lost enjoyment of life, pain and suffering and disability as a result of her negligence.

Ruth had granted plaintiff and defense motions in limine. Among them were:

For Foster, he ruled that Byrd should be barred from arguing that an injury was an aggravation of a pre-existing condition.

For Byrd, Ruth ruled that the plaintiff’s attorney could not introduce any evidence relative to the defendant’s insurance or the fact that the defendant was covered by a policy of liability insurance.

Madison County case number 12-L-1915


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