Hylla to hear sanctions motion in foot amputation case in January

Amelia Flood Dec. 17, 2009, 9:33am


Madison County Circuit Judge David Hylla is scheduled to hear a move for sanctions against an insurance company on allegations it paid a mentally ill woman to testify in a foot amputation trial.

According to the case docket, Hylla will hear the motion Jan. 22 at 9:30. After scheduling that hearing Dec. 9, Hylla granted defendant Enver Hamiti 30 additional days to file post-trial motions Dec. 10.

Hamiti lost a case last month when a jury awarded plaintiff Steven Kirk just under $1.4 million for the loss of his right foot and lower leg in a 2006 accident in Alton.

While Kirk admitted to drinking on the day of the accident, defense witness Helen Brockman testified to seeing the accident from an apartment she did not rent until six months following the accident.

Plaintiff's attorney Chris Kolker filed a motion asking for sanctions against Mercury Insurance Company for having allegedly "spoon fed" Brockman her facts.

During trial, Brockman testified that she had learning disabilities and that she suffered from mental illness.

She also testified that she was recruited by investigators for the trial. The plaintiff argues that those investigators were from Mercury.

"Plaintiff has reason to suspect that Mercury offered bribes to people to testify at trial," the sanctions motion reads. "Perpetration of fraud is not favored. This Court should not allow Mercury to get away with the fabrication of witnesses."

The motion seeks sanctions of $500,000.

Kirk is represented by Kolker and Amy Meyer.

Hamiti is represented by Mark Kurz.

The case is Madison case number 07-L-165.

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