Widow seeks punitive damages in suit against local bars over husband's, baby son's deaths

Amelia Flood Nov. 22, 2010, 6:32am


A woman who lost her husband and infant son in a car accident involving a tow truck is asking to add claims for punitive damages to her suit.

Jessica Legens is suing tow truck driver Mark Ikerman, his employer Manheim Services Corporation, Mac & Mick's Sports bar and the owners of Sparky's 397 Pub seeking more than $50,000 in damages per count of suit.

The motion is set for hearing Dec. 17 at 9:30 a.m.

Jessica Legens contends that Ikerman had been served alcohol by the two bars before heading out to answer a tow call placed by her husband, Donald Legens' Sr.

Ikerman's truck then hit Donald Legens Sr.'s car in which nine month-old Donald Legens' Jr. was a passenger.

The car was pushed into Donald Legens Sr., as he had gotten out of the car which had run out of gas.

Donald Legens Sr. was killed at the time of the accident.

His son died Nov. 14, 2008 from injuries related to the crash.

The defendants argue that Donald Legens Sr. contributed to the accident by being outside his car, drinking and failing to make sure his car had enough fuel.

Manheim has a third party claim against Mac & Mick's pending.

Ikerman faces multiple criminal charges related to the incident.

The Nov. 10 motion for puntivie damages argues that Illinois law allows Jessica Legens to seek punitive damages against Ikerman and Manheim.

The plaintiff cites the testimony of a toxicologist pointing to Ikerman's intoxication at the time of the accident and evidence from a videotaped interview taken by the Granite City Police Department.

The plaintiff claims Manheim, as Ikerman's employer, is also liable for punitive damges and that the company could be subject to criminal penalties if it is found that Manheim violated parts of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations statutes.

Madison County Circuit Judge David Hylla presides.

Kevin Davidson and David Zevan of St. Louis represent Jessica Legens, as does H. Lynn Henry of West Plains, Mo.

Edward Aucoin and Donald O'Meara of Chicago represent Manheim.

Joel Groenewold of Chicago represents Mark Ikerman.

Ralph Derango of Belleville represents Mac & Mick's.

Daneil Hasenstab of Belleville represents Mark and Mary Eddleman, the owners of Sparky's.

The case is Madison case number 08-L-1113.

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