Plaintiff files motion on own behalf for time for appeal

Amelia Flood Dec. 11, 2009, 4:44am

The plaintiff in a personal injury suit that ended in a verdict in May has filed a move with the court asking for time to file an appeal.

Plaintiff Walter Spearman's attorney, Rodney Caffey, filed in November to withdraw from the case.

Spearman and Caffey have quarreled in the past over how much Caffey and his firm should get from the $124,807.47 award for Spearman's injuries in a 2004 Edwardsville rear-end accident.

Spearman states in his Dec. 3 motion that he does not object to Caffey's withdrawal. Caffey is Spearman's second attorney in the matter. His former attorney, J. Robert Edmonds, also withdrew from the case.

The defendant in the case, Michael Sunley, moved Nov. 24 to enforce the court's judgment.

The case has seen two trials. The May 2009 trial was on the issue of damages only.

Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth, who oversaw the May trial, will hear motions in the case Dec. 18 at 9 a.m.

In his Dec. 3 motion, Spearman asks the court to order Caffey to turn over all of the plaintiff's files and for the defendant to release his medical award as set forth in a court order from Sept. 11.

Spearman also asks that the court direct Caffey to release any portion of his award and that any payment made to him or the LakinChapman law firm by Founder Insurance Company.

Spearman also seeks time to file the Madison court's records with the appellate court.

At a July hearing, Spearman expressed his displeasure with what he believed was too small an award for injuries. He also told Ruth at the time that he believed his attorneys did not deserve the $41,000 in fees. Both Caffey and Edmonds are to be paid out of the $41,000.

Ruth awarded the fees, explaining that although Spearman was unhappy with the final verdict, it was clear both firms had worked for their money.

Spearman suffered neck injuries in a 2004 rear end accident.

The jury in the first trial only awarded about $62,000 in medical costs. The appellate court sent the case back to Madison on the damages issue.

The case is Madison case number 04-L-007.

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