A deadly accident involving an ice cream hauling truck resulted in a nearly $6 million settlement.
“In a no-passing zone on a blind right-hand curve, the young man driving the ice cream truck decided he was going to pass the tractor trailer,” said Rich Zalasky of Brown & Crouppen, which represented some of the plaintiffs in the case.
The driver of the 17-foot cargo box truck, Kale Seth Paley Durr, struck a Chevy Silverado driven by 28-year-old Zachary Patchin head-on. Both Patchin and Durr died in the crash in Osage County.
Patchin’s survivors filed a negligent entrustment suit against the deceased driver’s estate and his employer, Ice Cream Factory LLC, alleging Durr did not possess the proper Class E license required to operate the Ford E450 he was driving.
Zalasky said there was little resistance in the case over liability. The settlement included nearly $3 million on behalf of Patchin’s minor daughter, Zariyah Marie Louise Patchin, and nearly $1.5 million for Tina Adams, Zachary Patchin’s mother.
The settlement also included nearly $1.5 million for the decedent’s father, Michael Patchin, who was represented by Thomas Neill of Gray, Ritter & Graham. The total settlement amounted to the policy limits minus property damage already paid.
Neill called it “a very sad case all around.”
“After we got some discovery in, I think they knew it was one they needed to settle,” he noted.
Zalasky estimated payments to Patchin’s child, who had not yet been born at the time of the crash, at nearly $14 million dollars when she begins receiving them at age 18.
An attorney for the defense didn’t return a call requesting comment.
$5.97 million settlement
Venue: Franklin County Circuit Court
Case Number/Date: 22AB-CC00068/Sept. 26, 2022
Plaintiffs’ Experts: Rebecca Summary, Cape Girardeau, (Accounting)
Special Damages: $1.4 million-$1.7 million: economic losses to minor child
Insurer: Travelers Casualty Insurance Company of America
Caption: Tina Adams, Phalestine Abdal-Kader on behalf of Zariyah Patchin, and Michael Patchin v. Ice Cream Factory LLC and Loretta Rouse, representing the estate of Kale Seth Paley Durr
Plaintiffs’ Attorneys: Richard Zalasky and Kristine Bridges, Brown & Crouppen, St. Louis; (for Adams and Abdal-Kader); Thomas Neill, Gray Ritter & Graham, St. Louis (for Michael Patchin)
Defendants’ Attorneys: Michael Murphy and Jeffrey Benoist, Law Office of Stephen H. Larson, St. Louis