Almond-eating, barge-watching driver suit settles

Christina Stueve Hodges Oct. 15, 2012, 10:56am



A lawsuit between a driver accused of watching barges, eating almonds and causing an accident while driving and the person who was allegedly injured from that accident has been settled.

Plaintiff Jerry Ellington of Godfrey had sought more than $50,000 in damages after driver Linda Dunnagan, allegedly distracted, struck his vehicle.

The plaintiff and defendant agreed and stipulated that the plaintiff's lawsuit be dismissed with prejudice with each party bearing its own costs, according to a document filed Oct. 11 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Ellington filed the lawsuit June 20.

Dunnagan and One Star Properties, both named as defendants, answered the lawsuit Aug. 6. They denied the allegations and claimed an award of punitive damages violated the defendants' constitutional rights.

Dunnagan stated the plaintiff failed to state a claim or cause of action against her.

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

Mark S. Schuver and William J. Neihoff of Mathis, Marifian and Richter in Belleville represented the plaintiff.

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

Madison County Circuit Judge William Mudge presided.

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

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