U.S. District Judge Nancy Rosenstengel has denied defense motions to dismiss counterclaims in a case involving a truck-stop accident where a semi-truck driver ran over a pedestrian's leg.
The suit, which was filed by Judy Stepp against Bohren Logistics and Jerry Beck in September 2014, “originated as a fairly straight forward allegation that a semi-truck struck a pedestrian at a truck stop,” according to the decision. Stepp was the pedestrian injured in the parking lot by a truck allegedly driven by an employee of Bohren.
“The procedural history grew increasingly complicated, however, once the parties conducted discovery into the ownership of the truck stop where the accident occurred,” the ruling continued.
Following discovery in the case, Bohren and Beck filed third-party complaints against Martin and Bayley Inc., the owner of the truck stop, and Jacobson Transportation Company Inc., Stepp's employer.
Bohren and Beck named the third-party defendants and alleged contributory negligence under the Illinois Joint Tortfeasor Contribution Act. Martin and Bayley filed both an answer to the complaint and a counterclaim against the defendants.
Again additional discovery in the case was conducted and Bohren and Beck filed a second amended third-party complaint to include MB-MTV Properties, MB-MTV Properties as land trustee, Land Trust #1995-1, Charles L. Martin, Frank M. Bayley, Mark Bayley and Thomas Waldron d/b/a Tom Waldron Concrete.
Martin and Bayley, as well as MB-MTV Properties, both entered counterclaims in the suit, which the defendants Bohren and Beck asked the court to dismiss.
In their motion to dismiss, Beck and Bohren asserted that neither Martin nor MB-MTV Properties will ever be liable for more than their share of liability. The court however, disagreed.
“It is still plausible, though exceedingly unlikely, that Plaintiff will move to amend her complaint to state a claim against Martin and MB-MTV Properties," Rosenstengel wrote. "It is further possible that Martin and MB-MTV Properties may choose not to assert the statute of limitations as an affirmative defense, meaning that the Third-Party Defendants could ultimately pay more than their pro rata share.”
Rosenstengel ultimately denied the defendants' motion to dismiss Martin & Bayley Inc.’s second amended counterclaim and denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss MB-MTV Properties, Charles L. Martin and Mark F. Bayley’s counterclaim as well.