Trial involving accident near Edwardsville Middle School in '97 gets under way

By Amelia Flood | May 17, 2010


Jury selection in a 12 year-old car accident case that returned to Madison County four years ago got under way Monday.

The case, filed on behalf of a boy struck by a car near Edwardsville Middle School in December 1997, had gone to trial previously.

It returned to Madison County on appeal, with the appellate court upholding a lower court order granting a new trial.

The first jury found for the defendants. Since then, at least two defendants, Edwardsville Community Unit School District #7 and Constance Dial, have settled with plaintiffs Cecil Dial Jr. and his father, Cecil Dial Sr.

In their suit, the Dials claim that Cecil Dial Jr. was struck by defendant Brad Joiner after Joiner had dropped his own child off at school.

Cecil Dial Jr. allegedly suffered a massive head injury from the impact.

According to the appellate court's mandate, two eye witnesses and the defendant testified that Joiner did not brake before the collision.

Joiner had testified that he had taken his eyes from the road for a moment before the impact.

The jury in the first trial was sequestered and attorneys sparred outside its presence about the production of at least one of the vehicles allegedly involved in the incident.

Due to issues with expert calculations, the defense moved for a mistrial and for discovery sanctions.

The Madison County court did not grant the motions.

Joiner filed a claim for setoff against Constance Dial and the Edwardsville district May 11.

Joiner denies that he was negligent and claims that Cecil Dial Jr.'s actions contributed to his injuries.

Joiner is represented by Stephen Mudge.

The Dials are represented by Roy Dripps.

Then-Madison County Associate Judge Ralph Mendelsohn oversaw the first trial.

Madison County Associate Judge Clarence Harrison presides over the new trial.

The case is Madison case number 1998-L-899.

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