St. Clair County jurors rule for defense in accident trial; Plaintiffs had rejected $20K pre-trial settlement

By Christina Stueve Hodges | Aug 1, 2013


St. Clair County jurors found for the defense on July 24 at the end of a three-day car accident trial in Circuit Judge Vincent Lopinot’s courtroom.

During closing arguments, plaintiffs Deborah and Dennis Humphrey had sought a judgment of between $175,000 and $195,000 from defendant Katherine Pocuca over a rear-end accident that took place on Green Mount Road near I-64 in O'Fallon in 2010.

Defense attorney Brent Salsbury of St. Louis said the Humphreys were offered $20,000 to settle the case before trial.

Salsbury said the defendant admitted negligence for the accident, but argued there was not sufficient evidence to show the damages  - which the Humphreys claimed included medical costs, plus future pain and suffering and future surgery costs - were proximately caused by the defendant.

He said evidence was introduced that the accident was minor and that the plaintiff was treated only once in the first four weeks following the accident.

Plaintiff's attorney Jack Carey of Belleville said he will file a motion for a new trial within the next two weeks.

“I just will be filing a motion for new trial, and I will let the court determine whether that verdict stands,” Carey said over the telephone Wednesday.

The Humphreys claimed that because of the collision, they were made sick, sore, lame, disordered and disabled; suffered disability and disfigurement and experienced pain and suffering.

They also claimed they incurred medical costs and lost their earnings and their earning capacities.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-128.

More News

The Record Network