Second suit filed over Bethalto pizza delivery accident

Kelly Holleran Aug. 11, 2011, 8:00am


A woman claims she sustained severe head, face, knees, feet, back, arm and leg injuries after a pizza delivery driver collided head-on with the vehicle in which she rode.

Andrea Mundy filed a lawsuit Aug. 3 in Madison County Circuit Court against Bethalto Pizza, Kenneth Lyerla, Imo's Franchising, Lisa Lyerla, Jeremiah Greene, Jason Yelton, Metro East Distributing, Leonard Cummings Jr. and Tresorellas.

In her complaint, Mundy claims she rode in a 1995 GMC Safari van traveling west on Erwin Plegge Boulevard at its intersection with Ashbrook Street in Madison County on Aug. 17, 2009, when a vehicle pizza delivery driver Kenneth Lyerla drove for Bethalto Pizza and Tresorellas struck the van head-on. During the collision, Mundy struck cargo in the front passenger compartment of the van, further injuring her, according to the complaint.

Because of the collision, Mundy suffered great pain, disability and mental anguish and incurred medical costs in addition to her injuries, according to the complaint. She also lost wages, sustained a damaged earning capacity and lost her enjoyment of life, the suit states.

Mundy blames Kenneth Lyerla for causing the collision, saying he negligently drove too fast, failed to maintain control of his vehicle, failed to bring his vehicle to a stop behind another vehicle making a left-hand turn at an intersection and allowed his vehicle to travel into the oncoming lane of traffic. Lyerla also negligently failed to stop or swerve to avoid a collision, allowed himself to become distracted by talking on his cell phone or listening to his radio, failed to monitor the flow of traffic around him to allow him sufficient stopping time and concerned himself more with the timely delivery of pizza than with the safety of those on the road.

Mundy names Imo's Franchising as a defendant because it owns Bethalto Pizza, the company Kenneth Lyerla worked for at the time of the collision. In addition, she says the company negligently allowed Kenneth Lyerla to work for it without first ascertaining whether he was a safe driver and created an environment that put fast deliveries of pizza ahead of road safety.

Lisa Lyerla, who allowed Kenneth Lyerla to drive her vehicle, and Leonard Cummings Jr., who insured the Lyerla vehicle, are named as defendants because they entrusted the vehicle to Kenneth Lyerla when they should have known him to be an unsafe driver, allowed Kenneth Lyerla to drive the vehicle when they knew there would be frequent distractions and allowed the vehicle to be driven in an environment that put timely delivery of food ahead of safe driving, according to the complaint.

At the time of the collision, Jeremiah Greene drove the vehicle in which Mundy rode. She names him as a defendant, saying he negligently drove too fast, failed to maintain control of his vehicle, failed to stop or swerve to avoid a collision, allowed himself to become distracted while driving, failed to monitor traffic flow around him to allow him sufficient time to stop or swerve and drove with unsecured cargo in his vehicle.

Van owner Jason Yelton, who works for Metro East Distributing, is named as a defendant because he allowed a vehicle to contain unsecured cargo, failed to ensure all cargo inside the vehicle was secure, failed to instruct the vehicle's operator to ensure that all cargo inside the automobile was secure and allowed his vehicle to be operated by a driver that he knew could not safely drive.

In her eight-count complaint, Mundy seeks a judgment of more than $550,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

Troy E. Walton of Schoen, Walton, Telken and Foster in East St. Louis will be representing her.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-765.

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