Subject: Verdicts & Settlements December 17, 2007: Motorcycle accident ends in settlement

Pub: Missouri Lawyers Weekly

Author: Stephanie Maniscalco

Category: Justice

Sub-Category: Courts

Issue Date: 12/17/2007      Word Count: 473

Verdicts & Settlements December 17, 2007: Motorcycle accident ends in settlement

by Stephanie Maniscalco

Dolan Media Newswires



A motorcycle rider who suffered a traumatic brain injury settled his Jackson County personal injury case after the second day of trial.

Basil Quesenberry and his son were riding their motorcycles on I-44 near Joplin on March 5, 2005. After his son passed a tractor-trailer truck owned by Swift Transportation Company, Quesenberry claimed he had to take evasive action and lost control of his motorcycle when the truck moved into his lane. Quesenberry suffered a brain injury with impaired short-term memory, cognition and speech. He was also diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and major depression.

The defendant claimed its driver changed lanes to avoid an unidentified vehicle entering the highway. Based on the truck driver's testimony, the plaintiff sued his underinsurance carrier for the actions of the phantom vehicle.

Joplin attorneys Edward J. Hershewe, Alison R. Hershewe and Michelle Boehm represented the plaintiff.

The attorneys conducted a pre-deposition investigation that revealed the driver's previous felony convictions for theft and assault, his drug and alcohol use and involvement in another accident that resulted in death. The driver denied any criminal convictions in interrogatories. Although the driver then testified that he told the company of his history, the company denied prior knowledge.

The defendant argued comparative fault, presenting evidence that the plaintiff was speeding and only used his rear brake to try to stop. The defendant also claimed that the plaintiff had made a good recovery because he could drive and that he did not need future attendant care. In a report to Missouri Lawyers Weekly, Hershewe said all of the experts agreed that the plaintiff could not return to work.

Hershewe said the defendant's experts on speed contradicted each other with one claiming the plaintiff was going 86 mph and the other arguing that he drove within the speed limit.

Facts of the Case

Type of Action: Personal injury

Type of Injuries: Closed head injury

Court/Case Number/Date: Jackson County Circuit Court/0516-CV08345

Case: Quesenberry v. Swift Transportation Co., Inc. and Shelter Insurance Company

Judge: Marco Roldan

Verdict or Settlement: settlement from Swift Transportation Co., Inc. and Shelter General Insurance Company

Attorneys for Plaintiff: Edward J. Hershewe, Alison R. Hershewe and Michelle Boehm O'Neal, The Hershewe Law Firm

Insurance Carriers: Self Insured

Plaintiff's Experts: Mariusz Ziejewski (accident reconstruction) Fargo N.D.; Donald L. Asa (trucking expert) Phoenix, AZ; John Ward (economist); Norbert T. Belz, (Life care planner); Tammy Albrecht, M.D. (treating physician); Dr. Alan Weintraub M.D. (treating neurologist) Englewood, CO; Steven Akeson, Ph.D. (treating neuropsychologist); Dale Halfacre, Ph.D. (treating neuropsychologist)

Defendants' Experts: James Pfeiffer (accident reconstruction) Wichita, Kansas; Stephen Garets (motorcycle expert) Portland Oregon; Richard Dubinsky, M.D. (neurologist) Kansas City, Kansas

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