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Joplin jury sides with car wash in trip-and-fall

Scott Lauck//August 11, 2021//

Joplin jury sides with car wash in trip-and-fall

Scott Lauck//August 11, 2021//

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A man who sued a car wash after he tripped and fell on the property lost in front of a Joplin jury. 

Ian Bartalos and Kevin Looby of McCausland Barrett & Bartalos represented the Amazing Grace Truck and Trailer Wash. Plaintiff Timothy Rushlow alleged that on Dec. 21, 2018 he came to get his trailer washed when he tripped over a lip along a ramp located inside the building. 

Rushlow alleged he suffered a fractured hip requiring surgical repair, orthopedic follow up and physical therapy over a six-month span prior to returning to work. Sheryl Rushlow, his wife, brought a claim for loss of consortium and services.

Rushlow alleged that defendant failed to warn him of the lip or post a sign telling him to stay in his truck. The defense argued that plaintiff slipped and fell while stepping down out of his truck. Testimony was provided by the employee present on the date of the incident, the owner of the truck wash, both plaintiffs and three retained expert witnesses. 

Bartalos and Looby said the plaintiffs asked the jury for at least $500,000. The jury, however, found neither the plaintiff nor the defendant to be at fault.

Andrew Buchanan of Buchanan Williams O’Brien, an attorney for the plaintiffs, did not return a call seeking comment. 

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Defense verdict

Premises Liability

Venue: Jasper County Circuit Court

Case Number/Date: 20AO-CC00068/June 28, 2021

Judge: Gayle Crane

Special Damages: Timothy Rushlow claimed $77,774.76 in billed medical (the parties stipulated to $60,926.58 paid), $21,703.00 in lost income, and future medical specials and life care needs of $238,618.25. Plaintiff Sheryl Rushlow claimed damages for loss of consortium/services.

Plaintiffs’ Experts: Dr. Ted Lennard, Springfield Neurological and Spine Institute, Springfield (surgical specialties); Dr. Mitchell C. Mullins, Missouri Independent Medical Evaluations, Springfield (life care planning); Bruce E. Moore, Drury University Hammons School of Architecture, Springfield (accident reconstruction)

First Pretrial Demand: $600,000

Last Pretrial Demand: $375,000

Last Pretrial Offer: $0

Caption: Timothy and Sheryl Rushlow v. Amazing Grace Truck and Trailer Wash LLC

Plaintiffs’ Attorneys: Andrew S. Buchanan and James V. O’Brien, Buchanan Williams O’Brien, St. Louis

Defendants’ Attorneys: Ian M. Bartalos and Kevin D. Looby, McCausland Barrett & Bartalos, Kansas City

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