Madison County Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian has denied Imo's Franchising's motion to dismiss a personal injury suit stemming from a Bethalto pizza delivery in August 2009.
Plaintiff Matthew Bruntjen was a passenger in a van when it was allegedly struck head-on in August 2009 by Kenneth Lyerla, who was delivering pizzas for a Bethalto Imo's Pizza franchise.
Bruntjen's 2010 suit also names van owner Jason Yelton, Kenneth Lyerla, his mother Lisa Lyerla, Leonard Cummings Jr., Jeremiah Greene, Imo's, Metro East Distributing, and others.
"The court hereby finds that Imo's Franchising exercises sufficient right to control Bethalto Pizza and its drivers to subject it to liability," Matoesian wrote in an Aug. 5 order.
Bruntjen contends that Kenneth Lyerla failed to drive safely because he was concerned with delivering his pizzas on time and caused the accident in which Bruntjen was injured.
Bruntjen was a passenger in Yelton's van which Greene drove.
The plaintiff is suing Imo's and its Bethalto franchise as Kenneth Lyerla's employers.
He is suing Metro East as Greene's employer.
He is suing Lisa Lyerla because she owned the car her son drove and Cummings Jr. for insuring the Lyerla car.
In the meantime, a second lawsuit has been filed against the same defendants by another woman, Andrea Mundy, who was also a passenger in the van at the time of the accident.
Bruntjen is represented by Charles Armbruster.
Stephen Mudge and Michael Hobin represent the Lyerlas and Cummings Jr.
James Craney and others represent the pizza company defendants.
John Wendler represents Yelton and Metro East Distributing.
Greene is represented by Beth Boggs.
The case is Madison case number 10-L-577.