Kohl's Department Store included in auto accident suit

Ann Knef May 1, 2006, 6:09am

A woman whose stopped vehicle was rear-ended by a suspected thief fleeing from Kohl's Department Store in Fairview Heights is suing the driver, car owner and store.

Janet Estes claims she was stopped at a light in the westbound lane of Longacre at the intersection of South Ruby on May 1, 2004, when Cirria Chew of Lovejoy, driving a 1993 Ford Aerostar, rammed into her 2004 Mazda 3.

The suit was filed in St. Clair County Circuit Court on April 26.

Estes, represented by Celestine Dotson of St. Louis, claims she suffered injuries to her face, eyes, mouth, head, neck and back, including broken teeth.

The complaint also names Cawanda Davis, also of Lovejoy, for allowing Chew, an uninsured driver, to operate the Ford Aerostar.

Kohl's was named in the suit for failing to anticipate that an accident could occur.

"Defendant Kohl's Department Store Inc....carelessly and negligently, failed to exercise a proper degree of care as to allow their agents or employees to pursue in a high speed chase onto public streets with the possibility of endangering the innocent lives of the public," the complaint states.

Estes, who is seeking between $25,000 and $75,000 from each defendant, claims she has incurred approximately $9,000 in medical expenses and $6,000 in loss of earnings.

Her property damage is approximately $3,800, according to the complaint.

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