Hylla jury awards Maryville police officer $38K for car wreck
Jurors in Madison County Circuit Judge David Hylla's courtroom awarded a Maryville police officer $38,608 after three hours of deliberations Wednesday.
The trial started Monday in a case brought by Michael Radosevich, 35, who sued Robin Dacosta for rear-ending his police car as he was making a traffic stop with his emergency lights March 9, 2008, on Maryville Town Center Drive.
Plaintiff's attorney Justin Mattea asked the jury to award his client $96,000 during closing arguments.
"You may not limit or deny Mike's right to damages," Mattea told the jury. "He (Radosevich) talks about arthritis a lot. Someone can have arthritis, and a trauma can make an arthritis that's not painful, painful."
Defense attorney Thomas Zimmer told the jury Dacosta did not see the police officer's car, and she hit her brakes and swerved to the left to avoid his vehicle.
Zimmer suggested the jury award Radosevich $24,000 for medical bills and being out of work.
Dacosta was southbound in a Ford Ranger on Illinois Route 159, preparing to turn westbound on Maryville Town Center Drive when the incident happened.
The suit accused Dacosta of following too closely, driving her vehicle too fast, failing to watch other vehicles on the road and failing to control her vehicle.
Radosevich's head, neck, back, shoulders and extremities were seriously injured, he claimed.
Dacosta countered that Radosevich failed to signal properly and stopped his vehicle in a place that had limited visibility for others on the road.
She also claimed he stopped his car in a lane designated for moving traffic and failed to ensure his vehicle could be seen by others approaching from the rear.
The case was originally filed seeking less than $50,000. On July 8, 2010, however, the case was reassigned from a smaller claims division to the larger claims division, and the dollar amount the plaintiff was seeking changed to more than $50,000.
Julia B. Mattea entered her appearance as co-counsel for the plaintiff on April 26.
Thomas L. Zimmer of St. Louis represented Dacosta.
The case is Madison County Case number 10-AR-71.