A $350,000 settlement has concluded the wrongful-death case of a woman who perished weeks after a serious car crash, according to the plaintiff’s attorney.
Todd Johnson of Votava Nantz & Johnson represented the surviving family of Brenda Register, who suffered extensive injuries after defendant Rosemary Watson evidently crossed the center yellow line of Missouri Highway 52 and hit her Chevrolet.
Register suffered severe orthopedic injuries, as well as a torn aorta and other injuries. She died weeks after the January 2017 event, which meant that there had been no reconstruction of the crash scene, Johnson said. Having been badly hurt at the scene, Register had also been unable to give a statement, Johnson said.
“Initially there wasn’t a lot to go on,” he said, noting that the defendant seemed to have admitted crossing into oncoming traffic in her statements. “Miss Watson indicated that she blinked and the next thing she remembers she must have been in the other lane.”
He noted that there was little doubt that the accident caused the Feb. 7, 2017 death, despite the time interval involved.
“As we got into the case, it didn’t sound like causation was disputed because of the nature of the traumatic injury early on,” Johnson said.
He said the case was initially filed in Bates County where Register lived, but was later removed to federal court due to diversity because the defendant was a resident of Kansas. It was then returned to the state level for an approval of the settlement, which took place in Jackson County.
John J. Fogarty of Manz Swanson Hall Fogarty & Gellis, which represented the defense, declined to comment.
Venue: Jackson County Circuit Court
Case Number/Date: 1816-CV18808/Aug. 6, 2018
Judge: Marco A. Roldan
Insurer: Allied Property and Casualty Insurance Company
Caption: Charles Register, Kristian Smith, Dianna Schooley, Melissa Chandler and Kenneth Register v. Rosemary Watson
Plaintiffs’ Attorneys: Todd Johnson, Votava Nantz & Johnson, Kansas City
Defendant’s Attorneys: John J. Fogarty, Manz Swanson Hall Fogarty & Gellis, Kansas City