Affirmative named in auto accident suit as parties argue over who is responsible

Kelly Holleran Oct. 11, 2011, 3:57am


A man claims he sustained back, lung, left shoulder and neck injuries after he was ejected from a vehicle during a collision.

Therone H. Williams filed a lawsuit Oct. 3 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Affirmative Insurance Company, Krystle K. Gibb, Thomas E. Luster and the estate of Jermaine E. Liddell.

In his complaint, Williams claims he rode in a 1998 Chevrolet Suburban the recently deceased Liddell drove west on Lake Drive about 360 feet west of its intersection with 57th Street in Centreville on March 7 at about 12:38 p.m. when the accident occurred. While driving, Liddell drove off the road and lost control of the vehicle, according to the complaint. During the collision, both Liddell and Williams were ejected from it, the suit states.

In addition to his injuries, Williams suffered disfigurement, disability, an increased risk of future harm and a shortened life expectancy, the complaint says. In addition, Williams claims he experienced pain, suffering and emotional distress, incurred medical costs and lost wages and earnings.

He blames Liddell for causing the collision, saying Liddell negligently failed to keep his truck under proper control, drove too fast and left the proper lane of the road.

At the time of the collision, the Suburban was insured through defendant Affirmative Insurance Company. However, the insurance company and Williams are arguing over whether Liddell and his passengers should be reimbursed for injuries sustained in the collision.

The vehicle's owner, Gibb, claims she did not give permission to Liddell to drive the car, adding another kink to the situation, according to the complaint.

"The Defendant, Jermaine E. Liddell, had been given the Suburban to drive by Latrell Brown who in turn had been given the Suburban by the Defendant, Krystle K. Gibb, which the defendant, Krystle K. Gibb, denies," the suit states.

If Affirmative fails to cover Williams through Gibb's insurance policy, it should cover him through his father's, defendant Thomas E. Luster's, policy, the complaint says.

"When the plaintiff, Therone H. Williams, was injured in the wreck involving the Defendant, Jermaine E. Liddell, the Plaintiff was covered as an excess insured under the Affirmative Insurance Company policy issued to his father, the Defendant, Thomas E. Luster," the suit states.

Williams wants the court to declare that the insurance policy issued to Luster and Gibb cover his damages during the collision. He also seeks a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs.

William J. Knapp and Del A. Goldenhersh of Knapp, Ohl and Green in Edwardsville will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-557.

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