Madison County jury awards child accident victim $108K
A Madison County jury on Tuesday awarded $108,100 to a child injured in a 2006 auto accident.
Jennifer Rutz, mother of Dustin Rutz, a minor, filed suit last year against her insurance company, Illinois Farmers Insurance Co., seeking to collect damages provided through her under-insured auto policy.
According to the lawsuit, Rutz was westbound in a Ford Escort on U.S. 40 approaching the intersection of Illinois Route 4 on Dec. 13, 2006.
Vicki Zeliff of Troy was northbound on Route 4 when she pulled into the path of Rutz's vehicle and caused the accident at the intersection, the suit claimed.
Dustin Rutz was in the rear seat and was injured in the accident.
Zeliff held an insurance policy at the time of the collision, but the Rutzes' damages exceeded her policy limits.
The Rutzes and Illinois Farmers entered into arbitration on March 14, 2011, but the Rutzes elected to reject the permanent disability and disfigurement offered, the complaint stated.
They sought a judgment of more than $50,000.
Thomas E. Fagan of Wuestling and James in St. Louis was the plaintiff's attorney.
Martin Clay of the Law Offices of Bingley, Hart & Hesi represented Defendant Illinois Farmers Insurance Company.
Associate Judge Thomas Chapman presided in the case.
In their statement of the case filed Sept. 17, Illinois Farmers Insurance Company denied that any compensation was owed.
Madison County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-331.