Auto accident leaves woman unable to care for husband with Parkinson's, suit claims

Kelly Holleran Nov. 2, 2009, 1:31am

A woman claims she is no longer able to care for her husband who is suffering with Parkinson's disease and with neurological degradation after a driver rear-ended her.

Sharon and Henry Hopper filed a lawsuit Oct. 22 in Madison County Circuit Court against Peter Gillespie.

In their complaint, the Hoppers allege Sharon Hopper was driving west on Landmark Boulevard near its intersection with U.S. 67 on Nov. 7, 2007. As she approached the intersection, Sharon Hopper began to slow her vehicle because of traffic, according to the complaint.

Suddenly, Gillespie struck the rear of Sharon Hopper's vehicle, the suit states.

Because of the accident, Sharon Hopper began to suffer from headaches and jaw pain; experienced visible swelling to the palmar aspects of her hands; incurred pain and strain to her neck, back and right arm; and suffered from reflex sympathetic dystrophy and trigger point injections to her neck. In addition, Sharon Hopper experienced a diminished enjoyment of life, incurred medical costs and lost wages, the complaint says.

Now Sharon Hopper claims she is no longer able to provide services or companionship to her disease-stricken husband. Henry Hopper has lost his wife's assistance in household chores, care, conjugal relations, felicity, comfort and affection, according to the complaint.

The Hoppers blame Gillespie for failing to keep a careful lookout, for striking the rear end of Sharon Hopper's vehicle with his front end and for driving too fast.

In the two-count suit, the Hoppers are seeking a judgment of more than $100,000, plus pre-judgment interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Brian Stokes of The Stokes Law Office in St. Louis will be representing them.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-1125.

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