Defendant opposes plaintiffs' move for punitive damages, pre-trial set in tow truck case

Amelia Flood Dec. 16, 2010, 11:14pm


One of the defendants in a woman's suit over the two truck accident that killed her husband and infant son in November 2008 has filed his opposition to a motion seeking punitive damages.

Plaintiffs Jessica Ellen Legens and Regions Bank, the administrators of the estates of Donald Legens Sr. and Donald Legens Jr., filed their move for punitive damages in the case in November.

The punitive damages issue is set for hearing today at 9:30 a.m. before Madison County Circuit Judge David Hylla.

The plaintiffs are 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.

They contend that Ikerman was drinking when his tow truck was called out to help Donald Legens Sr. whose car had run out of gas.

His nine month-old son, Donald Legens Jr. was a passenger in the car when Ikerman's tow truck hit the car, pushing it in to Donald Legens Sr.

Donald Legens Sr. died in the accident.

His son died Nov. 14, 2008 of his injuries.

The plaintiffs claim that the two bars had served Ikerman the alcohol that influenced the accident.

Ikerman faces criminal charges in relation to the accident in Granite City.

A third party complaint that Manheim filed against Mac & Mick's was dismissed earlier this month.

In his Dec. 13 motion, Ikerman contends that the plaintiffs, specifically Regions Bank, have not provided enough support in its own motion to warrant adding the punitive damages to the suit.

The defendant takes aim at Regions "evidence section" of its motion for punitive damages that he claims relies on allegations and not facts.

"Unfortunately for the Bank, the likelihood or unlikelihood of proving facts to support a claim for punitive damages is not a factor that [it] any Illinois court has ever considered when determining whether to permit a claim for punitive damages in a survival action based on common law," Ikerman's opposition motion reads. "The Bank does not – because it cannot – cite a single case in which the likelihood of proving such conduct is considered a factor."

Ikerman claims the bank lacks the statutory basis or strong equitable considerations needed to add the damages to the suit.

Kevin Davidson represents the plaintiffs.

Joel Groenewold of Chicago represents Ikerman.

Donald O'Meara of Chicago and others represent Manheim.

Ralph Derango represents Mac & Mick's.

John Cunningham represents Mark and Mary Eddleman, the owners of
Sparky's 397 Pub.

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

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