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Defendant wins case over collision in lot

Plaintiff represented himself at jury trial

A jury sided with the defendant driver in a trial over a January 2003 parking lot collision at a Columbia Schnucks grocery store.

Ken Derendinger sued retiree Eleanor Owen Teague in Boone County Circuit Court, claiming she drove the wrong way down a parking aisle and rammed into his car. He said the accident left his car totaled and his tailbone injured.

Teague claimed she was driving in the correct direction and that Derendinger cut across the parking lanes and collided with her. Teague wasn’t injured in the collision.

The owner of a nearby nail salon witnessed the accident, but Derendinger, who represented himself at the one-day trial, said he didn’t know how to subpoena the man to testify at trial.

Derendinger graduated from the University of Missouri School of Law in 2005 and worked as an attorney for six months. He said he’s now struggling to operate a food-delivery service in Columbia and looking for work.

At trial, Derendinger said he proffered photos of the parking lot to try to punch holes in Teague’s retelling of the accident.

“The jury ignored the evidence,” he said.

Derendinger first filed the suit as a property damage case in small claims court, said Rebecca E. Schubert, Teague’s Brown & James defense attorney. In 2007, a small claims judge sided with Teague.

Two attorneys handled Deredinger’s case before he tried it himself.

  • Defense verdict
  • Personal injury
  • Court: Boone County Circuit Court
  • Case Number/Date: 08BA-CV00197/Oct. 6, 2009
  • Judge: Jodie Asel
  • Last Pretrial Demand: $10,000
  • Last Pretrial Offer: None
  • Insurer: Safeco Insurance Co. of Illinois
  • Caption: Ken Derendinger v. Eleanor Owen Teague
  • Plaintiff’s Attorney: Ken Derendinger (pro se), Columbia
  • Defendant’s Attorney: Rebecca E. Schubert, Brown & James, St. Louis