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Crash involving dump truck results in $750,000 settlement

Jessica Shumaker//April 27, 2017//

Crash involving dump truck results in $750,000 settlement

Jessica Shumaker//April 27, 2017//

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The owner of a dump truck alleged to have caused a 2014 injury crash in Lincoln County has agreed to settle with the driver of the other vehicle for $750,000.

The crash occurred the morning of June 21, 2014, as the dump truck driver, Keith Witt of Witt Farm Seed & Grain, was eastbound on Route U, according to plaintiff’s attorney Zane T. Cagle of the Cagle Law Firm in St. Louis.

Witt reached the intersection of Route U and Missouri Highway 47, then attempted to cross Highway 47 and continue on eastbound Route U.

The dump truck allegedly entered the path of the plaintiff’s motor vehicle, which was southbound on Missouri Highway 47.

The plaintiff, identified by Cagle only as J.H., attempted to avoid colliding with the dump truck. She swerved and traveled off the right side of the roadway and struck an embankment.

J.H. alleged that Witt left the scene and returned in another vehicle because of the dump truck’s failure to comply with federal regulations. Witt denied the allegation, stating he parked the dump truck near the location of the crash.

J.H. was taken to an area hospital. She underwent physical therapy and injections to her lumbar spine. In January 2016, she underwent a lumbar spinal fusion.

In her suit against Witt and his company, J.H. alleged that Witt failed to keep a lookout while operating his dump truck and failed to yield the right-of-way. She also alleged punitive damages for lack of supervision, training and violations of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

The defendant alleged that the plaintiff was careless and negligent in failing to keep a careful lookout, stop, slow or take evasive actions, which resulted in the dump truck entering the roadway.

The parties agreed to the settlement prior to trial.

“We solved it really early in the case,” Cagle said.

He said reaching the agreement was fairly simple.

“We did an initial demand on the case, they made an offer. We had some discovery disputes,” he said. “When the discovery disputes were resolved, prior to deposition, we reached a settlement agreement.”

$750,000 settlement

Motor vehicle collision

Venue: Lincoln County Circuit Court

Case Number/Date: 15L6-CC00052/May 6, 2016

Insurer: American Family Mutual Insurance Company

Caption: J.H. v. Witt Farm Seed & Grain, LLC and Keith Witt

Injuries alleged: Back, spine

Special damages: $279,996

Pretrial demand: All single policy limits

Pretrial offer: $203,000

Plaintiff’s Attorneys: Zane T. Cagle, The Cagle Law Firm, St. Louis
Defendant’s Attorneys: Confidential

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