Drunken driving case settles for $100k

Steve Gonzalez Jul. 19, 2006, 7:18am

The father of girl killed by a drunken driver in 2004, settled a wrongful death suit against the woman found guilty of reckless homicide.

David Wurth, Jr., filed suit against Karen Hunt of St. Louis on March 23, alleging his daughter Susan Wurth was driving her vehicle in the eastbound lanes of I-270 when a vehicle driven by Hunt collided head on with his daughter on Dec. 20, 2004.

According to the suit, Hurt was driving westbound in the eastbound lanes on I-270 for several miles in a 1997 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.

Hurt was sentenced by Circuit Judge Charles Romani on April 25, to 180 days in the county jail, four years of probation, alcoholism treatment and restitution. She was also fined $18,635.

On May 5, Hurt asked Romani permission to see her psychologist while she was incarcerated. Romani gave Linda Partridge, Ph.D. permission to counsel Hurt for one hour a month.

Wurth claimed it was Hurt's duty to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances to protect the safety of his daughter and others on the interstate but instead negligently drove on the wrong side of a divided interstate highway.

He claimed that since Hurt was guilty of drunken driving on the wrong side of the highway her acts constituted willful and wanton misconduct.

Wurth recently settled his case for $100,000, the limit of Hurt's liability coverage.

Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian approved the settlement.

Wurth was represented by Patrick Boyle of Florissant, Mo. Hurt was represented by Martin Clay of Sunset Hills, Mo.

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