BELLEVILLE – The passenger in a motor
vehicle is suing over injuries he says he received when the driver of the
vehicle was fleeing police.
Darian Woods filed the suit April 26 in
St. Clair County Circuit Court against Samuel A. Mitchell.
On Nov. 28, 2015, the plaintiff was
riding in the back seat of Mitchell's car in Caseyville when the
defendant committed a traffic infraction and refused to pull over for a police officer, according to
Instead, the suit alleges, Mitchell accelerated and eventually lost control of his vehicle at a
railroad crossing, left the road, and struck the railroad signal, allegedly causing Woods to sustain injuries.
Woods claims Mitchell negligently attempted to elude a police officer, drove while
under the influence of drugs or alcohol, drove at a speed greater than the speed limit and failed to keep his vehicle on the
As a result, the plaintiff allegedly suffered a
fracture to a vertebra in his spine, the suit states. He claims he will continue to incur
medical bills, has lost wages and will do so in the future and has
experienced diminution of his quality of life.
Further, according to the complaint,
the defendant's conduct when attempting to flee the police was willful
and wanton, callous and reckless, entitling the
plaintiff to punitive damages, the complaint alleges.
The plaintiff seeks actual damages in
excess of $50,000 and punitive damages of $100.000 plus court costs.
He is represented by John H. Leskera of Leskera Law Firm in
St. Clair County Circuit Court case