Matoesian denies plaintiff's request for new trial in case against Alton

Christina Stueve Feb. 23, 2012, 6:16am


Madison County Circuit Judge Andreas Matoesian on Friday denied a personal injury plaintiff a new trial in a case against the city of Alton.

The city was found not negligent in a trial in November in a case filed by Matthew Adelsbach. He claimed the city was at fault for injuries he suffered in an accident and that the city should have installed a four-way stop rather than a two-way stop at the intersection of East 20th and Alby Streets.

Adelsbach sustained near fatal injuries and was in a coma for 31 days following a 2003 accident, in which the other driver, John Calvin Riddlespriger, fled the scene.

Adelsbach's attorney Larry Amoni asked the jury for $15,279,614 in damages during closing arguments.

Defense attorney Charles Pierce had argued that Adelsbach had not exercised proper caution while driving at the intersection.

The top generating salesman in his company, Adelsbach earned a salary of $108,000, according to court testimony.

After the trial, jury foreperson Jay Wackerly talked to the Record.

"You're obviously responsible for your own actions," Wackerly said. "Everything cuts down to what's reasonable. He was at fault. He was not looking."

Riddlespriger, who was uninsured and unlicensed at the time of the accident, was charged with failing to report an accident and leaving the scene.

Riddlespriger had an extensive criminal history, Pierce told the Record.

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