Plaintiff amends complaint; Imo's asks for protective order in pizza delivery accident suit

Amelia Flood Apr. 4, 2011, 8:14am


The plaintiff in a complicated accident suit stemming from a pizza delivery in Bethalto has amended his claims.

Meanwhile, Imo's Franchising Inc., one of the defendants in the suit brought by Matthew Bruntjen, has asked for a protective order.

Madison County Circuit Judge Andreas Matoesian is set to hear motions in the suit at 9 a.m. on Friday.

According to his amended complaint filed March 31, Bruntjen is seeking damages in excess of $50,000 per each of the 10 counts of his complaint.

Bruntjen has also added a defendant to the case, Tresorellas Inc. of Bethalto.

The company joins fellow defendants Bethalto Pizza LLC, doing business as Imo's Pizza, Kenneth and Lisa Lyerla, Jeremiah Greene, Jason Yelton, Imo's Franchising, Metro East Distributing Inc. and Leonard Cummings Jr.

According to the suit, the accident in question happened Aug. 17, 2009.

Bruntjen was a passenger in a van driven by Greene.

Yelton owned the van and was employed by Metro East Distributing.

Kenneth Lyerla worked as a pizza delivery boy for Bethalto Pizza which was an Imo's franchise.

Kenneth Lyerla was driving a car owned by his mother, Lisa Lyerla, which Cummings Jr. insured at the time of the crash.

According to the complaint, Kenneth Lyerla was rushing to deliver a pizza and was speeding and distracted when he crashed into the van Bruntjen was riding in.

Bruntjen claims he suffered head injuries, a distended stomach, and other serious injuries.

He claims Kenneth Lyerla "concerned himself more with timely delivery of a pizza than with traffic safety."

Bruntjen claims that cargo in the van was not properly secured at the time of the accident and that Greene was not driving safely either.

He is suing Bethalto Pizza, Tresorellas, Imo's Franchising, and Metro East Distributing as respondents superior.

The various defendants also have counterclaims pending against one another.

Imo's Franchising asked for a protective order on the same day that Bruntjen filed his amended complaint.

In that motion, the pizza maker asks Matoesian to enter an order prohibiting the public from accessing certain information that has been requested by Bruntjen as part of the discovery process.

That information, according to the March 31 motion, includes a full copy of Imo's "Operating Manual," documents related to work practices for the company's drivers, and other franchise-related documents.

Imo's argues the documents are confidential because they contain trade secrets and that some would disclose the names of customers who patronize the Bethalto store.

Matoesian moved a case management conference in the case to May in an order signed March 30 as well.

Bruntjen is represented by Charles Armbruster.

Stephen Mudge represents the Lyerlas and Cummings Jr.

James Craney and others represent the pizza company defendants.

John Wendler represents Yelton and Metro East Distributing.

Greene is represented by Beth Boggs

The case is Madison case number 10-L-577.

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