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Meyerkord & Meyerkord Settles Two MoDOT Highway Design Cases in 2012 Alone
A family-owned plaintiffs’ litigation firm based out of St. Louis, Meyerkord & Meyerkord has successfully settled two roadway defect cases involving MoDOT thus far this year.
The first case was filed on behalf of the family of Carlyn Perkins, a 39-year-old mother who was killed in an accident on Roadway Drive in St. Louis while on her way to work. She lost control of her vehicle when she drove through a 6-inch deep pool of water in the center of the lane and collided with a tree. She was pronounced dead at the scene, leaving behind her parents and a 14-year-old son.
In the wrongful death suit filed against the City of St. Louis and the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission (MHTC), the family alleged that the roadway was defective and that the defendants knew of the defect but did not take the necessary steps to repair it or warn drivers of its presence. The family’s total recovery, including a settlement with the City of St. Louis and arbitration award from MHTC, was $642,734. The settlement reached with the City was $250,000 and the arbitration panel overseeing the case awarded the family $1,007,000, but pursuant to RSMo. §537.610 the award was reduced to the statutory cap of $392,734.
The second case involved 30-year-old Amber Courtney, who was rendered paraplegic after a defect in Highway H in Jefferson County caused her vehicle to careen off the road and overturn in an embankment. Ms. Courtney lost control of her vehicle when the tires on the passenger side dropped off the pavement on the highway. She was trapped in the vehicle for approximately eight hours until she was finally airlifted to the hospital for emergency treatment. Ms. Courtney’s injuries, including closed head trauma, rib fractures, fractures of the T6-7 and T7-8 vertebrae (located on the spinal cord around the shoulder area) and spinal cord trauma, left her without sensation and muscle control in both legs.
To build a strong case against MoDOT, attorney Kurth retained the services of a highway expert and engineer named Bill Berg. Mr. Berg inspected the accident site and conducted a review of police reports and MoDOT materials applicable to the curve of the highway where Ms. Courtney’s accident occurred. His investigation revealed a startling number of accidents at the same stretch of the road, 24 to be exact. 22 of these accidents involved vehicles that left the roadway. Mr. Berg’s investigation also revealed several hazardous conditions on the area of road where Ms. Courtney lost control of her vehicle.
This case settled prior to court-ordered arbitration for $343,000 and was concluded by attorney Kurth of Meyerkord & Meyerkord in association with attorney Joe Klenofsky.
Family-owned and led by a father-and-son team, Meyerkord & Meyerkord has a track record of resolving tough cases and often receives referrals from other attorneys for this reason. In the pursuit of justice for the injured and wronged, the firm pushes cases through arbitration, mediation or litigation to seek maximum compensation on behalf of each client. To learn more about the firm, visit www.stlouis-
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