Accident victim in dram shop suit asks for default judgment

By Steve Gonzalez | Jun 19, 2008

A woman who was injured when an alleged drunk driver collided with her vehicle after consuming alcoholic beverages at the Luna Cafe is asking Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder to grant her motion for a default judgment.

Lisa Payne claims she and her minor son were injured when William Wallace collided with her vehicle on Old Alton Road in Granite City. She alleges Wallace was drinking alcoholic beverages at Luna Cafe prior to the Oct. 6, 2007 collision.

Represented by Brian Polinske of Edwardsville, Payne filed a motion for default judgment on June 5, alleging Wallace and Luna Cafe failed to respond to her complaint.

According to the motion, both defendants were served May 2 and had until June 3 to respond to her complaint.

"The Plaintiffs are entitled to judgment as a matter of law in their respective favor and against all of the Defendants," the motion states.

In her complaint, Payne seeks damages in excess of $100,000 for serious injuries she and her son allegedly received in the collision.

Payne also asked Crowder to appoint a guardian ad litem for her son.

"A Guardian ad Litem is required to negotiate on behalf of the minor plaintiff and to approve of the settlement on behalf of the minor plaintiff," her motion states.

Crowder appointed Martin Mengarelli to act as the guardian at litem.

On June 17, Wallace's attorney, David Laurent of Glen Carbon, entered his appearance but did not mention the motion for a default judgment.

In his answer, Wallace denied he was intoxicated but admits that his license was revoked at the time of the collision.

Wallace also admits he was operating a vehicle owned by Elizabeth Wallace without driving privileges, and denied the other allegations.

He asked Crowder to enter a judgment in his favor and to award him court costs.

In addition, Wallace filed a motion to strike or excuse the further verification of pleadings in the case.

Wallace argued that if Crowder requires all pleadings in the case to be verified it would impose a "burden in both time and expense" that would be "unjustified."

Crowder has yet to set a hearing date on the pending motions.

Luna Cafe has still failed to respond to the complaint.

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