Madison County jury awards motorist $12K

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Oct 10, 2018

A Madison County jury awarded a motorist $12,000 in a suit involving an Alton rear-end collision.

Circuit Judge David Dugan presided over the one-day trial.

Jurors deliberated for about an hour on Oct. 9 before returning a verdict in favor of plaintiff Claire Williams.

Williams was represented at trial by Randall Steele of Glen Carbon.

Defendant Susan Hayes was represented by Roger Wilson of St. Louis.

Williams filed her two-count complaint on Sept. 6, 2016.

According to her complaint, Williams alleges she was driving eastbound on Niedringhaus Avenue at the State Street intersection in Granite City on Oct. 2, 2015. Hayes was driving directly behind Williams when she allegedly struck the plaintiff’s vehicle while she was stopped at a stop sign.

Williams alleges Hayes had a duty to operate her vehicle with a reasonable amount of care to avoid causing injuries.

The plaintiff alleges Hayes breached that duty by failing to keep a proper lookout, failing to keep her vehicle under proper control, driving too fast for traffic conditions, failing to sound her horn, failing to reduce speed to avoid a collision, failing to keep a proper distance between vehicles and failing to obey a traffic control device.

As a result, Williams claims she sustained serious and permanent injuries.

Hayes answered the complaint on Nov. 14, 2016 denying liability.

Arbitrators found in favor of Williams on March 29, 2017, awarding her $22,500, plus costs.

Hayes rejected the award on April 24, 2017 and requested a jury trial.

Williams filed an amended complaint on Oct. 3 just before trial was set to begin. The amended complaint reflected the defendant’s death, naming the Estate of Susan A. Hayes as the new defendant.

According to a suggestion of death filed Oct. 3, Hayes died on March 3.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 16-AR-328

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