Plaintiff seeks third trial in 1998 personal injury case

Amelia Flood Jul. 22, 2010, 6:54am


The plaintiff in a personal injury case that has gone on for more than a decade and has gone to two juries is asking for a third trial.

Plaintiff Cecil Dial Jr. is asking that a May verdict in the second trial of his suit against Bradley Joiner be set aside due to the improper testimony of an expert witness and "repeated" personal attacks against his attorney.

Dial is suing Joiner for injuries he suffered after he was hit by Joiner's SUV while crossing the street near an Edwardsville middle school.

The 11 year-old Dial suffered a massive head injury and other injuries.

Joiner contended that Dial walked out in front his vehicle, giving him no chance to stop and that he did not see the boy before the impact.

The suit seeks more than $1 million in damages.

That plea will be heard July 30 at 8:30 a.m., according to a July 9 case management order.

The case originally went to trial in 2004. Jurors were sequestered and at one point, there was a move for a mistrial.

That first jury found for Joiner.

The case then went to the appellate court after then-presiding judge, former Madison County Associate Judge Ralph Mendelsohn, granted the plaintiff's move for a new trial.

The defense appealed that decision.

The appellate court agreed with Mendelsohn and sent the case back to Madison County five years ago.

Madison County Associate Judge Clarence Harrison II oversaw the suit's May retrial.

At points during that trial, defense counsel Stephen Mudge questioned the tactics of plaintiff's attorneys Roy Dripps and Charles Armbruster, employing at times charged language.

During closing arguments, Armbruster told jurors that Mudge was only attacking him and his partner because he could not disprove that his client caused Cecil Dial Jr.'s injuries.

In the June 15 move for a new trial, the plaintiff asserts that the testimony of expert Nathan Shigemura was wrongly allowed into the case and that the attacks on the plaintiffs' representation denied the plaintiff a fair trial.

The defense has yet to file a respone to the motion seeking a new trial.

Dial is represented by Dripps and Armbruster.

Mudge represents Joiner.

The Edwardsville school district and Dial's mother were also parties in the case at one time. Both had been dropped from the suit prior to its retrial.

The case is Madison case number 1998-L-899.

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