Woman accused of hitting, killing boy seeks to transfer wrongful death case

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Mar 16, 2015

A woman accused of hitting and killing a boy while he played outside is seeking to transfer the case to Franklin County where the incident occurred.

Melissa Yarber, as special administrator of the estate of Logan Steven Adams, filed the Sept. 9 lawsuit against Jessica R. Patton and Brandon Adams.

According to the complaint, Yarber claims her son and Adams were playing outside in the 500 block of North Van Buren Street in West Frankfort on June 29, 2014, when Patton allegedly drove her Toyota Corolla down the street and hit Logan with her vehicle. The boy died from his injuries, the suit states.

Adams and Patton are accused of negligence.

Patton filed a motion to transfer to Franklin County on Oct. 31 through attorney Daniel Price of the Wham & Wham law firm.

“The attached police report establishes that this occurrence and all matters arising out of it occurred in Franklin County …” the motion states.

Patton also argues that supervision of a minor child is a family matter and is barred by intra-family immunity.

“Accordingly, the cause of action against Brandon Adams embodied in Count II is not one that qualifies as an action against a defendant joined in good faith and with probable cause,” the motion states.

Patton filed a second motion to transfer venue on Jan. 30, arguing that transfer is proper based on forum non conveniens. Her second motion was filed without prejudice to the first, unresolved motion, she states.

“This case should be transferred to Franklin County based on principles of forum non conveniens because it is the most convenient forum for this litigation in light of all relevant private and public interest factors properly considered by Illinois courts,” the motion states.

Patton explains that the incident took place in Franklin County, all evidentiary proof is located in Franklin County and the witnesses and the defendant resides in Franklin County.

Circuit Judge Robert LeChien scheduled a motion hearing for March 18 at 9 a.m. to address each motion to transfer.

Yarber seeks a judgment of more than $100,000 in damages, plus court costs.

The plaintiff is represented by Bruce R. Cook of Belleville.

Patton requests a jury trial.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 14-L-629

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