Six wrongful death suits filed over I-270 fatal accident last year

By Kelly Holleran | Sep 26, 2012


Seven people who either saw a relative die in a collision or who were involved in the collision have filed suit against the company that allegedly threw a party where alcoholic beverages were consumed.

Michael McElmore Sr., Nancy Brueggen, John D. and Judy K. Hart, Kevin M. Leahy, Kenneth R. Fredrick III and Nicole D. Stanner claim they or their deceased relatives were riding in a vehicle Nicole Stanner was driving on Interstate 270 at New Halls Ferry in St. Louis County on Sept. 24, 2011, when Patrick Walsh struck the rear of Stanner's vehicle.

The suits claim that Walsh was allegedly intoxicated when he was allowed to leave the party in his car and proceeded to cause a collision in which two people were killed, according to the recently filed suits.

Before the collision, Walsh allegedly had been consuming alcohol at defendant Donzo's Bar and Grill with his co-workers at a social event sponsored by defendant Premier Insulation, according to the six complaints filed Sept. 21 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Kimberly Durham had planned the event and confiscated Walsh's keys when she saw signs of his "obvious intoxication," one suit states. She arranged a ride home for Walsh, then handed Walsh's car keys to Donzo bartender Hollie Grigg, the complaint says.

Later, Grigg surrendered control of the car keys to Premier employee William Smith, the plaintiffs claim. In turn, Smith returned them to Walsh, who was able to attempt to drive home before causing the collision, according to the complaints.

Because of the collision, Michael McElmore's and Nancy Brueggen's sons, Michael R. McElmore Jr. and Steven M. Brueggen, died, according to the complaints. Due to their children's deaths, Michale McElmore Sr. and Nancy Brueggen incurred funeral costs and lost their children's society, support, companionship, guidance, advice, love and affection, the suit states.

The remaining plaintiffs sustained injuries, lost wages, underwent pain and suffering and incurred medical costs, the complaints say.

In each of the plaintiffs' three-count complaints, they seek a judgment of more than $150,000, plus costs.

They will be represented by Stephen F. Meyerkord and Geoffrey S. Meyerkord of Meyerkord and Meyerkord in St. Louis.

Madison County Circuit Court case numbers: 12-L-1520, 12-L-1521, 12-L-1522, 12-L-1523, 12-L-1524, 12-L-1525.

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