A legally deaf woman will be allowed to re-file a personal injury case against QuikTrip but only has until Feb. 24 until the statute of limitations runs out on her claims.
Although Madison County Chief Judge Ann Callis denied Lois Nelson's pro-se move to reinstate the case, the denial was a procedural move, according to statements made by the judge and attorneys present.
Nelson filed her pro-se move to reopen the suit Jan. 6.
Nelson sued QuikTrip in 2007 claiming that due to the company's negligence, she tripped on a gas line and broke her leg.
Nelson claims that she had pressed the button the company's gas pump that should have brought her help.
Nelson's original suit sought damages in excess of $50,000 and costs.
Attorney James Parrot of St. Louis represented her in that suit.
The case was dismissed without prejudice last year.
In her Jan. 6 motion, Nelson claims that Parrot dismissed the suit against her wishes.
Parrot had not withdrawn from the suit at the time of Friday morning's hearing.
His status remained a question throughout the hearing.
"You appear somewhat on her behalf today," Callis said.
He claimed that his client emailed him her assent to her original suit's dismissal and that he pointed it out in his response to the pro se motion.
Parrot's response that was referenced during Friday's hearing is not
yet available in the case file.
The attorney argued that because the case was dismissed he did not have to withdraw. He and Nelson both indicated that he would not remain as her attorney if the case continued.
"I'm not going to re-file the case for her, no," Parrot said.
Callis suggested that a withdrawal be included in her order.
She said she would deny the motion for procedure's sake but that Nelson could re-file the suit, assuming she met the deadline set by the statute of limitations.
Nelson, speaking through a sign language interpreter, asked Callis for clarification.
"I have to file it again?" Nelson asked. "But I already filed it."
Nelson indicated that she had taken the case to 11 attorneys who turned her down.
However, she said she would continue the suit.
"I'm just going to have to do it myself," Nelson said. "I'm smart. I can fight."
The case is Madison case number 07-L-725.