Car dealership blamed for letting inexperienced driver test ride vehicle

Kelly Holleran Oct. 29, 2008, 10:13am

Charles M. Watkins has filed suit against Judie A. Kolb and a car dealership, alleging he was seriously injured after she rear-ended him with a car the dealership owned.

Watkins was driving west on Route 15 near its intersection with Route 13 in Belleville on Oct. 24, 2006, at 11:38 p.m., according to the complaint filed Oct. 21 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

At the same time, Kolb was driving a 1998 Cadillac Deville owned by J.C. Auto Sales in the same direction and collided with the rear of Watkins's car, the suit states.

Watkins claims he was seriously, severely and permanently injured and suffered mental pain and anguish because of the accident.

He has incurred medical costs, according to the complaint.

Kolb and J.C. Auto Sales were negligent because they failed to keep the vehicle under proper control, failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to stop, drove without safe and adequate brakes and drove too fast, the suit states.

Watkins claims J.C. Auto Sales had a duty to refrain from giving the vehicle with its approval to someone who had inexperience, incompetence and/or a lack of skill in driving the vehicle.

In addition, the dealership negligently allowed Kolb to use its vehicle, failed to deny Kolb from using the vehicle, entrusted Kolb with the vehicle when it should have been aware of its unsafe condition and failed to maintain the vehicle in a safe manner with proper brakes, according to the complaint.

In the four-count suit, Watkins is seeking a judgment in excess of $200,000, plus costs.

Thomas B. Cannady of Keehner, Cannady and Katz in Belleville will be representing Watkins.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 08-L-529.

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