Alleged almond eating, barge-watching driver fights lawsuit against her

Christina Stueve Hodges Aug. 7, 2012, 11:18am




A driver accused of watching barges, eating almonds and causing an accident while driving responded to a lawsuit against her Monday.
She stated the plaintiff failed to state a claim or cause of action against her.

Jerry L. Ellington of Godfrey is seeking more than $1 million after driver Linda Dunnagan, allegedly distracted by eating almonds and watching barges, struck his vehicle.

Ellington filed a lawsuit June 20 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Dunnagan and One Star Properties answered the lawsuit Aug. 6. They denied the allegations and claim an award of punitive damages violates the defendants' constitutional rights.

In his complaint, Ellington alleges he was southbound on McAdams Parkway in Godfrey July 26, 2010, when his Ford F-150 encountered stopped traffic. As Ellington stopped for traffic, Dunnagan, who was driving a 2003 Honda Acura behind him, struck his vehicle.

Dunnagan allegedly drove too fast and acted in disregard for a substantial risk of death or injury to others, the lawsuit claims.

Because of the collision, Ellington claims he suffered severe and disabling injuries, incurred medical costs, was hindered and prevented from attending to his usual duties and lost wages.

Ellington seeks a judgment of more than $50,000.

Mark S. Schuver and William J. Neihoff of Mathis, Marifian and Richter in Belleville represent Ellington.

Scott Harper of Brinker & Doyen in Clayton represents the defense.

Madison County Circuit Judge William Mudge is assigned to the case.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-865.

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