Judge denies plaintiff third trial in '98 personal injury suit

By Amelia Flood | Aug 25, 2010



Madison County Associate Judge Clarence Harrison II declined to give the plaintiff in a 12-year old personal injury suit a third chance before a jury.

Harrison denied a motion for a new trial filed by plaintiff Cecil Dial Jr. after hearing arguments Wednesday morning. Dial Jr.'s case has already gone to two juries since its filing.

Both juries have found for defendant Bradley Joiner.

Dial Jr. sued Joiner for injuries he suffered when Joiner's SUV
hit him while he was crossing a street near an Edwardsville Middle School in 1997.

The then 12 year-old Dial Jr. suffered massive head injuries in the incident. He sought more than $1 million in damages.

Joiner has claimed that the boy walked out in front of his car before he could stop.

Dial Jr.'s attorneys, Roy Dripps and Charles Armbruster, argued that "repeated" personal attacks against them issued by defense attorney Stephen Mudge during a May trial denied their client a fair trial.

The plaintiff's attorneys also argued that the testimony of an accident reconstruction expert in the defense case was improper.

Mudge dismissed the plaintiff's arguments and argued that the "personal attacks" were not personal at all.

"I believe I was attacking the credibility of the plaintiff's case," Mudge told Harrison.

The case first went to trial in 2004.

That jury, after a trial that featured a plea for a mistrial and a sequestering of the jury, found for Joiner.

Madison County Associate Judge Ralph Mendelsohn, who presided over the suit at the time, granted the plaintiff's move for a new trial.
The defense unsuccessfully appealed Mendelsohn's ruling.

The case then came back to Madison County and was tried in May and resulted in a second victory for Joiner.

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

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