Weber presides over first trial

Steve Gonzalez Feb. 1, 2006, 8:56am

Judge Weber

During his first jury trial, Madison County Circuit Judge Don Weber presided over a personal injury auto accident case that delivered a reduced plaintiff's verdict on Jan. 25.

Robert and Courtney Simpson filed suit against Stephen Radloff on July 25, 2003, claiming injuries after Radloff ran a stop sign and collided with their 1997 Ford Explorer at the intersection of Route 160 and Ellis Road in Madison County.

On the third day of the trial, the jury began deliberating at 10:15 a.m. and returned a verdict against Radloff 45 minutes later.

The jury ordered Radloff to pay Courtney a total of $8,000, which was $42,000 short of what her attorney, Robert Howerton, asked. Simpson received $3,200 for pain and suffering and $4,800 for medical expenses.

When Weber headed to work on Monday, Jan. 23, he had no idea he would be presiding over the matter until Circuit Judge Micholas Byron asked him to that morning.

On the first day of the trial, Radloff filed a motion in limine to exclude any testimony during voir dire trial or any other inference that he was drinking and smelled of alcohol. He claimed that testimony from Courtney Simpson, or any witness, was irrelevant to the issues of negligence because Radloff admitted fault for the accident.

He also stated that he was not ticketed and did not receive a DUI.

Weber allowed the motion.

Radloff also wanted Courtney Simpson's testimony alleging she suffered a concussion to be barred because her doctor only listed that she had a headache for three days. Weber allowed the motion.

Weber also allowed Radloff's request to keep the fact that he had insurance out of the trial so the jury would not be prejudiced in the case.

Radloff also wanted his financial condition to be barred from evidence.

Radloff was represented by Beth Boggs of St. Louis.

Weber granted Courtney Simpson's motion in limine barring Radloff from bringing to the jury's attention that she was involved in another auto accident in Carbondale in which she also suffered injuries.

Radloff also was not allowed to tell the jury that all of Courtney's medical bills had been paid by an insurance policy.

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