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St. Clair County Reaches Verdicts in 11 Civil Cases

— January 20, 2017

St. Clair County has awarded almost $15.5 million to seven plaintiffs in 2016 with 11 civil cases reaching a verdict last year.

St. Clair County has awarded almost $15.5 million to seven plaintiffs in 2016 with 11 civil cases reaching a verdict last year, according to the Madison County Record, which covers a portion of Illinois’ legal system.  The County Record covers local and national cases that have been decided, making public the outcomes.  Its site claims, “At The Record we hope to provide an objective view of the playing field as well as an active forum for both sides of the argument so that all of us can decide for ourselves.”

Some specifics of each case in St. Clair County, according to The Record, follow:

In January 2015, a jury favored defendant “The Edge” (Mary Dahm & Keith Schell) of Belleville after a woman sought damages for negligence.  She had been drinking at the facility, and late into the night, slipped from an indoor rock climbing wall, breaking her knee cap.

The following month, plaintiff Angela Taylor was awarded $30,000 in a car accident suit against defendant Ruthie McDonald.  The accident occurred in 2011.  Ruthie admitted to negligence, but did not admit to causing damage to the extent that Taylor claimed.  

Image Courtesy of wiseGeek
Image Courtesy of wiseGeek

On March 11, a St. Clair jury awarded Robert Bonner favor in a contract breach suit. Plaintiff Little Egypt Golf Cars, claiming to be the number one golf cart dealer in Southern Illinois, leased cars to Grand Maris Golf Course, under a contract signed by Bonner, which Little Egypt claimed he failed to return.  The company indicated Grand Maris had held onto fourteen cars, and one utility car after the lease ended in April 2011.  When Bonner returned the utility vehicle, it was damaged. Bonner denied he had done anything wrong, and claimed the utility vehicle was not damaged to the extent Little Egypt indicated.  

The following month, on April 19, plaintiff Bruce Adams was awarded over $3,000 in his car accident suit, which extended three days.  Defendant Zachary Montgomery allegedly struck Adams’ vehicle from behind on Frank Scott Parkway back in 2012.

On May 25, plaintiff Sharon Reed was awarded $14,000 after alleging she was rear-ended by defendant Kayli VanHoutin.  VanHoutin admitted fault in the incident.

Plaintiff Shirley Cooper was awarded over $30,000 in July.  She claimed defendant Daniel Gessford struck her vehicle in 2013 after he ran a red light at an intersection.

In August, defendants California Casualty Management Company, who provides insurance to those in the fields of education, law enforcement, fire fighting, and nursing, and California Casualty Insurance and Exchange were victorious in their four-day trial against plaintiffs Jarvia and Nickey Bryant.  The Bryants alleged the the insurance company failed to issue payments to cover a home fire.  In turn, the defendants stated the Bryants filed fraudulent requests for reimbursement, including those for tanning and sports tickets.

The same month, plaintiff Robert Thompson, who claimed defendant Dr. Donald Serot improperly performed his knee replacement surgery in 2005, lost his case.  Thompson has since filed a motion for a new trial, has been denied and has appealed.  

Plaintiffs Craig and Yvonne Spencer were awarded $9.4 million in a workplace injury lawsuit in August after undergoing a week-long trial.  Craig was injured when a ladder struck his head on a construction site in October 2010.

Image Courtesy of LexisNexis
Image Courtesy of LexisNexis

On September 19, plaintiff Edward Kimme was awarded an undisclosed “significant amount” in a work truck lawsuit in which he claimed defendant Danny Shannon pulled out in front of and was struck by another vehicle.  Co-plaintiff Dennis Knutt and Kimme filed suit against both Shannon and Highway Technologies, eventually settling the case.

In mid-December, Shalawn Chambers was awarded $13,588 after just one day of trial.  She alleged her son Ernest was injured by defendant Yelana Moton after Moton rear-ended her vehicle in the summer of 2013.  


Eleven St. Clair County civil jury trials went to verdict in 2016; Nearly $15.5 million awarded to seven plaintiffs

Little Egypt Golf Cars

California Casualty Management Company

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