Madison County accident trial ends in favor of defendant

By Steve Gonzalez | Sep 14, 2005

It took a Madison County jury just three hours to clear a Granite City man of any wrongdoing in an auto accident in which a 17-year-old girl was injured.

Marsha Acord of Granite City sued Kenneth Meadows on behalf of her daughter, Jamie, over injuries the girl sustained on May 17, 2002.

Jamie Acord, who was eastbound in her two-door 1988 Chevy on 23rd Street in Granite City, was struck by Meadows at the intersection of Madison Avenue. She claimed Meadows, driving a 1984 Ford pickup northbound on Madison Avenue, failed to yield.

The jury consisted of eight women and four men.

A retired woman said the verdict she and fellow jurors arrived at came down to the believability of the plaintiff and defendant.

"The young girl said he ran a red light, and he said she did," said the juror who wished not to be identified.

"I guess it just came down to who we believed in the case. The young lady seemed to change her story quite a bit or was confused on what really happened, while the gentleman was confident in giving his side of the story.”

Acord claimed she suffered severe and permanent injuries to her left shoulder and neck.

After the accident, she was taken to Gateway Regional Hospital by a Granite City Fire Department ambulance.

Acord's vehicle also was severely damaged in the amount of $1,200.

According to the complaint filed on July 22, 2003, Acord was seeking damages in excess of $50,000 plus costs of the suit. However, at trial her attorney only asked the jury for $21,000.

During testimony Acord stated she had $6,000 in medical bills from the accident.

Acord was represented by John Haynes and Jeannie Armstrong of Belleville. Meadows was represented by Alton attorney Jane Unsell.

The case was originally assigned to Circuit Judge Philip Kardis, but after he retired, it was reassigned to Judge Byron.

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