Plaintiff continues motion hearing in Alton foot amputation suit

Amelia Flood Mar. 2, 2010, 5:30am


A plaintiff's motion to sanction an insurance company he alleges bribed a witness has been continued to June.

Plaintiff Steven Kirk had moved to sanction Mercury Insurance Company after a witness at his negligence trial was shown to have lied about witnessing the accident that cost him his right foot.

The hearing had been set last week.

Kirk also has a separate suit pending against Mercury in the matter as well as a suit against the insurance company that covered the original defendant in the first negligence case, Enver Hamiti.

To date, both of the resulting lawsuits against the insurance companies remain pending.

Kirk originally sued Hamiti for injuries he suffered in a 2006 accident in Alton. Kirk alleged that Hamiti ran a stop sign.
Hamiti's truck hit Kirk's motorcycle. Kirk's right foot and the lower part of his leg were amputated due to his injuries from the crash.

Although Kirk testified to drinking on the day of the accident, the defense suffered a blow when a witness who claimed to have seen Kirk weaving and riding erratically was shown to have lied.

The plaintiff put on the woman's landlord who testified that the witness could not have seen the accident from her apartment overlooking the intersection because she did not move in until six months after the accident.

The plaintiff also presented the woman's handwritten rental application, verifying her landlord's testimony.

The woman herself testified that she had learning disabilities and that she suffered from mental illness.

The jury awarded Kirk nearly $1.4 million.

Hamiti later assigned Kirk his rights to sue both Allstate Insurance Company and Mercury.

Mercury has filed a declaratory action related to Kirk's suit in Lake County, according to court documents.

The new hearing on the call for sanctions against Mercury in the original case is set June 25 at 9:30 a.m. before Circuit Judge Dave Hylla.

Chris Kolker represents Kirk.

Hamiti is represented by Mark Kurz.

No attorneys are listed as representing Mercury or Allstate in the lawsuits against them.

The Allstate suit is assigned to Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder.

The Mercury case is assigned to Madison County Chief Judge Ann Callis.

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

The Allstate case is case number 10-L-050.

The Mercury suit is case number 10-L-156.

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