St. Clair County jurors awarded a motorist $7,500 following a 2011 rear-end collision in Sauget.
The two-day trial ended on March 5 in Associate Judge Kevin Hoerner’s courtroom when jurors awarded plaintiff Teresa Witt $2,500 for loss of a normal life and $5,000 for pain and suffering.
Hoerner entered the judgment on March 7.
Hoener, 56, of Belleville, was recently appointed judge after he made an unsuccessful bid for the Fifth District Appellate Court bench in November. He lost to Justice David Overstreet.
He was previously a partner at Becker, Hoerner, Thompson & Ysursa.
During the trial, Witt was represented by Anthony Gilbreth of Crowder & Scoggins Ltd. in Columbia, Ill.
Defendant Ryan Wenneker was represented by Kevin Myers of the Law Offices of Rouse and Cary in St. Louis.
Witt, of Waterloo, filed her complaint on Dec. 31, 2012, alleging she was driving a 2002 Lincoln LS southbound on Illinois Route 3 in Sauget on Jan. 4, 2011, shortly after 6 p.m. Wenneker, of Fenton, was operating his 1997 Dodge Intrepid at the same location when he allegedly lost control of his vehicle and caused a rear-end collision.
Witt alleged Wenneker operated his vehicle at a speed greater than reasonable, failed to give an audible warning with his horn, failed to keep his vehicle under control, failed to keep a proper lookout for other vehicles, failed to use his brakes to avoid causing a collision, failed to stop and failed to reduce speed.
As a result, Witt claimed she sustained serious personal injuries. A motion in limine filed March 5 by the plaintiff, her medical expenses totaled $5,592.
She sought a judgment in excess of $50,000, plus costs.
According to the trial memorandum, Wenneker admitted he acted negligently in causing the collision, but denied the collision caused Witt’s injuries and denied she was injured to the extent claimed.
In the plaintiff’s motion in limine, she sought to prevent any argument that her injuries were caused by anything other than the Sauget crash or a fall she sustained while walking her dogs.
On Feb. 15, arbitrators awarded Witt $12,500, plus costs.
Wenneker rejected the award on March 12 and requested a jury trial.
St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 12-L-683