Hotly contested Moto Mart slip and fall case settles

Amelia Flood Jan. 20, 2010, 9:59am



Wrangling in a case stemming from a man's slip and fall at an Edwardsville Moto Mart is over.

Plaintiffs John and Linda Linkes settled with FKG Oil Company on Jan. 15.

The couple was awarded just under $390,000 in a September trial for the ligament injuries John Linkes suffered after slipping on a mopped floor.

FKG alleged Linkes contributed to the accident.

The company had filed to appeal the verdict, claiming presiding judge, Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder, overstepped her bounds when she directed the jury's verdict against the company as a sanction for contradicted interrogatory answers and what she called a "cavalier" handling of the case.

The Linkeses filed notice of a cross appeal Jan. 8, shortly before both appeal notices were withdrawn.

Both FKG and the plaintiffs were denied new trials.

Plaintiff's attorney Gordon Broom had asked for a new trial on punitive and other damages.

During his closing argument, Broom asked the jury to award more than $2 million to his clients. In his notice of cross appeal, he argued Crowder erred when she denied his request for a new trial on the punitive damages.

The September trial featured sniping between Broom and defense attorney Victor Avellino.

FKG witnesses contradicted themselves and video survelliance.

After the company produced a document it had claimed was lost during discovery, Broom moved for the directed verdict before a visibly angry judge.

Crowder lectured Avellino and FKG CEO Rob Forsyth for their conduct during the case's discovery and trial before she directed the verdict on the liability issues shortly before the trial ended.
The company had previously been sanctioned for discovery issues earlier in September.

Along with signing an order announcing the case's settlement Jan. 15, Crowder also signed an order granting a defense request to lift the nearly $10,000 in sanctions she imposed Sept. 9.

The case is Madison case number 08-L-410.

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