In newly appointed Madison County Circuit Judge David Dugan’s courtroom, a jury awarded a motorist $5,542 in a suit involving a parking lot collision, but also found that the plaintiff was 50 percent liable.
The one day trial ended when a jury returned the verdict in favor of plaintiff Kristia Monigan after deliberating for less than an hour.
Dugan was appointed to the bench last month to fill a vacancy created when former Circuit Judge John Barberis was elected to the appellate court in November.
The jury awarded Monigan $5,542 for medical expenses. After reducing the total damages by Monigan’s attributable negligence, the plaintiff recovered $2,771 in damages.
Monigan was represented by Keith Short of Collinsville.
Defendant Meghan Watt was represented by Tori Walls of Reed Armstrong Mudge & Morrissey in Edwardsville.
Monigan filed her original complaint on Dec. 22, 2015, and filed her first amended complaint on March 16, 2016.
In her first amended complaint, Monigan alleged she was parked in the parking lot of the Alton Walgreens on Nov. 10, 2014. She alleges Watt was also parked in the parking lot.
Monigan claimed she attempted to back her 1994 Honda Civic from her parking spot into the driving lane and stopped when she saw that Watt failed to yield and backed her vehicle into the front of the plaintiff’s vehicle.
Monigan alleged Watt had a duty to exercise ordinary care in operating her vehicle. She also alleged Watt failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to look and see things that were obviously visible, failed to keep her vehicle under control to avoid a collision and failed to use every precaution to avoid a collision.
As a result, Monigan alleged she suffered injuries to her neck, back and shoulders.
In her April 2016 answer to the first amended complaint, Watt argued that Monigan was contributorily negligent.
She also alleged Monigan’s injury was “so minimal it did not require the treatment she received from a chiropractor.”
She added that Monigan allegedly continued seeing her chiropractor after she stopped having complaints, “which was excessive.”
“Further, the chiropractor treated the plaintiff even though she was not having any complaints simply to complete a plan of treatment that required appearances in his office even though she did not have physical complaints,” the answer stated. “Defendant disputes the necessity of any chiropractic treatment but in any event believes the treatment should have been suspended when she reached the point where she was having no complaints or objective signs of injury.”
On July 28, the arbitrators offered an award in favor of Monigan for $8,500.
Watt rejected the award and requested a jury trial on Aug. 3.
Madison County Circuit Court case number 15-AR-498