Madison - St. Clair Record

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Madison County jury awards passenger $17,500 in auto accident suit; Reaches opposite verdict from arbitrators’ assessment

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Apr 25, 2017

After arbitrators assessed total fault to one driver in an Alton collision and no fault to the second driver, a Madison County jury reached a completely opposite verdict on Tuesday. 

The jury found defendant Theresa Harrison 100 percent at fault in her passenger’s auto accident suit after deliberating an hour and a half. They found that defendant Suzanne Crancer was not at fault in the collision. 

They awarded plaintiff Gloria Teague $17,500. 

The two-day trial was held in Circuit Judge David Dugan’s courtroom after Crancer previously rejected an arbitrator’s award in favor of Teague and against Crancer for$22,500. The arbitrators found in favor of Harrison in both Teague’s complaint and Crancer’s counterclaim for contribution. 

Teague, of Alton, was represented by Timothy Chartrand of Williamson Webster Falb & Glisson in Alton.

Crancer, of Godfrey, was represented by Marcus Raymond of Maryland Heights, Mo.

Harrison, of Alton, was represented by Roger Wilson of St. Louis.

Teague filed her complaint on Aug. 31, 2015, against Crancer and Harrison. She argued that Harrison was driving a 2006 Buick Lucerne CX southbound on Henry Street in Alton while Teague was riding along as a passenger. At the same time, Crancer was driving a 2014 Ford Escape on US-67 and approaching the intersection with Henry Street.

Crancer allegedly drove her vehicle into the intersection, running a red light, while Harrison was also crossing the intersection. The two vehicles collided.

Teague alleged the defendants failed to obey a traffic signal, failed to reduce speed to avoid an accident, failed to warn each other of the imminent accident, failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to decrease speed and failed to yield the right of way.

As a result, Teague alleged she suffered injuries to her arm, shoulder, hip, knee and strain to her C-spine.

Crancer answered the complaint on Sept. 16, 2015, denying liability.

In her affirmative defenses, Crancer argued that Harrison’s negligence caused or contributed to the plaintiff’s injuries. She alleges Harrison failed to obey a traffic control device or signal, failed to reduce speed in order to avoid an accident, failedto warn the plaintiff of an imminent accident, failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to decrease speed when approaching the intersection and failed to yield the right of way to Crancer.

Harrison answered the complaint on Dec. 7, 2015, denying liability in the accident.

In her affirmative defenses, Harrison argued that the accident was a direct and proximate result of Crancer’s negligence.

Harrison filed a counterclaim against Crancer on Dec. 17, 2015.

She argued that Crancer failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to keep her vehicle under proper control, failed to obey a lawful traffic signal, failed to yield the right of way and failed to avoid a collision.

If found liable, Harrison sought contribution from Crancer.

Teague filed a motion to transfer the case to the arbitration docket on May 3 through attorney Michael Glisson. In his affidavit, Glisson stated that at that time, the total damages sought did not exceed $50,000.

Circuit Judge Andreas Matoesian granted the motion to transfer on May 13.

On Aug. 25, the arbitrators assessed 100 percent fault to Crancer in the incident.

On Sept. 20, Crancer rejected the arbitration award and requested a jury trial.

On Nov. 18, the case was transferred to the law docket for trial.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 15-L-1118


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Organizations in this Story

Madison County Circuit Court Williamson, Webster, Falb and Glisson