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Motorcyclist gets $150K after being tossed onto fence

David Baugher//September 24, 2018

Motorcyclist gets $150K after being tossed onto fence

David Baugher//September 24, 2018

A six-figure settlement from two insurance companies will compensate a motorcyclist who crashed when another driver allegedly blocked her path.

On Sept. 18, 2016, Victoria Harris was turning left onto Missouri Highway 86 from an intersecting road in Newton County, according to a submission from plaintiff’s attorney Jordan Paul, of the Paul Law Firm. Harris pulled her 2005 Nissan Xterra in front of a motorcycle driven by Katelynn Shourds, causing the motorcyclist to slam into the SUV’s front passenger side. The impact pitched Shourds from her Kawasaki Ninja into a rail fence, where she struck her head and suffered a traumatic brain injury, according to Paul.

Harris most likely didn’t see Shourds, Paul said.

“She was lucky she wasn’t killed to be honest, because she was thrown off her motorcycle and tossed a long way,” he said.

Paul said that the insurers involved did a good job of acknowledging responsibility without disputing liability.

Shourds also lost partial use of her left hand, which hampered her in her job assembling recliner chairs, Paul said.

“When she was eventually cleared to return to work, she found that she really wasn’t able to grip things and would even have trouble opening a can of soda from time to time,” he said. “I’m not sure she’s going to be able to do a lot of things from an employment perspective going forward that maybe she could prior to the wreck.”

Harris’s insurer, American Family, settled for $100,000 and Progressive, the policy issuer for Shourds, contributed another $50,000. Paul said he was satisfied with the result.

“Sometimes these adjusters and insurance companies want to nickel-and-dime you on stuff, and we felt like American Family and Progressive both did a pretty good job working with us,” he said.

Neither Rob Trowbridge, who was listed as representing American Family, nor the media-relations department of Progressive responded to requests for comment.

$150,000 settlement

Motor-vehicle collision

Breakdown: $100,000 from American Family; $50,000 from Progressive

Venue: Newton County Circuit Court

Case Number/Date: 17NW-CV01463/March 13, 2018

Judge: Timothy Perigo

Insurer: American Family for Harris/Progressive for Shourds

Caption: Katelynn Shourds v. Victoria Harris

Plaintiff’s Attorneys: Jordan L. Paul and Ryan P. Land of The Paul Law Firm, Neosho

Defendant’s Attorneys: Rob Trowbridge, American Family, Springfield

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