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Home / Verdicts & Settlements / Couple settles for $2.15M after three-wheeled motorcycle crash

Couple settles for $2.15M after three-wheeled motorcycle crash

A couple obtained settlements totaling $2.15 million after a tire fell off their three-wheeled motorcycle, according to the plaintiffs’ attorneys.

The Cagle Law Firm represented James Eggleston and Ruth McKelleb, who were riding on eastbound Interstate 70 toward Indiana on Aug. 20, 2016. Shortly after stopping for breakfast near Effingham, Illinois, the rear tire on the driver’s side of their 2013 Harley Davidson trike fell off, throwing the couple into the westbound lane of the highway.

A few months before the crash, the defendant shop installed an after-market exhaust kit on the couple’s cycle. The plaintiffs alleged that while installing the exhaust kit, the defendant dismounted and remounted the rear tire, though the defendant denied that allegation.

Eggleston, who was driving the trike, suffered a fractured neck in the crash, as well as head injuries which required facial and nasal surgery. He also underwent a left rotator cuff surgery. Eggleston claimed he suffered a mild traumatic brain injury, which resulted in depression and cognitive impairment.

McKelleb, a passenger on the cycle, suffered broken ribs and a punctured spleen, and she had surgery on her left shoulder and biceps. She also has post-traumatic stress disorder and increased anxiety.

Eggleston and McKelleb also alleged that the incident and their resulting injuries directly contributed to the dissolution of their marriage.

The suit was brought in St. Louis County, where both plaintiffs resided and the defendant’s principal place of business and registered agent were located.

Defense attorney James W. Childress confirmed the settlement. He said the defendant alleged all maintenance completed on the motorcycle had been properly performed and contested the nature and extent of the plaintiffs’ injuries.

The parties reached a settlement at mediation relating to Eggleston’s claim for $1.125 million and McKelleb’s claim for $1 million. Separately, Eggleston’s insurer agreed to an additional payment of $25,000 to McKelleb in return for a release of any claims against Eggleston, Cagle said.

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Motor-Vehicle Injury

Breakdown: $2,125,000 from defendant ($1,125,000 for Eggleston, $1,000,000 for McKelleb). Separate $25,000 from Eggleston’s insurer to McKelleb

Venue: St. Louis County Circuit Court

Case Number/Date: Confidential/May 24, 2019

Special Damages: Eggleston: past medical $322,650.62 (charged), future medical $278,014.05. McKelleb: past medical $263,292.02 (charged), future damages $356,034.58

Caption: James Eggleston and Ruth McKelleb v. Confidential

Plaintiffs’ Attorneys: Jason C. Webster, The Webster Law Firm, Houston, Texas; Zane T. Cagle, The Cagle Law Firm, St. Louis

Defendant’s Attorney: James W. Childress and Craig Klotz, Childress Ahlheim Cary, St. Louis