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- $493,919 settlement
- WRONGFUL DEATH, MOTOR VEHICLE COLLSION
- Venue: Camden County Circuit Court
- Case Number/Date: 12CM-CC00044/March 13, 2012
- Judge: Aaron G. Koeppen
- Insurer: Electric Insurance Co.
- Caption: Heather Jackson and Jason Jackson v. Robert Brandon and Gayle Brandon
- Plaintiffs’ Attorney: Matthew C. Price, Price & Randle, Osage Beach
- Defendants’ Attorney: N/A
Woman hurt in collision was early in pregnancy, miscarried
BY LAURA GIRRESCH
Special to Missouri Lawyers Weekly
A woman was on her way to a Dollar General store in Camden County to buy a pregnancy test when a man hit her stopped car from behind at full speed, her attorney said.
Plaintiff Heather Jackson, 30 at the time of the June 28 accident, was indeed two weeks pregnant, her attorney said. The Camdenton resident needed neck surgery as a result of the accident, and she suffered a miscarriage in the ordeal.
She and her husband, Jason, obtained a $493,919 settlement in the vehicle collision and wrongful death case against defendant driver Robert Brandon and his wife, Gayle, plaintiffs’ lawyer Matthew C. Price said.
Brandon’s insurance carrier, Electric Insurance Co., represented him. A representative of that company didn’t return a call seeking comment on the settlement.
Brandon had no listed phone number, so he couldn’t be reached for comment.
Jackson had stopped in the driving lane of northbound Missouri 5, Price said. She was waiting, with her blinker on, for oncoming traffic to clear so she could turn left. Price said Brandon wasn’t paying attention and rear-ended Jackson at full speed in the 55-mph zone. Brandon was about 75 years old at the time of the crash, according to court records.
Price couldn’t provide detailed information about the defendant or the types of vehicles involved in the accident.
Online court records indicate an attorney represented the Brandons at the Camden County settlement hearing. That lawyer didn’t return messages seeking comment or confirmation by press time.
Jackson’s car was totaled. Her 3-year-old son was also in her vehicle during the accident but wasn’t injured, her lawyer said.
Price said Jackson likely miscarried not as a result of trauma from the accident itself, but from complications in the neck surgery.
Price initially demanded $500,000, and the insurance company offered $260,000, but they ultimately settled the case for close to Price’s demand. The settlement breakdown was $250,000 for Jackson’s injuries, and $243,919 for the unborn baby’s wrongful death.
Price said insurance companies try to fight paying for the loss of a fetus in the first trimester, but Missouri law allows a person to claim wrongful death of a fetus in a car accident regardless of the duration of the pregnancy.
"Our position is: That’s a baby that died."
Matthew C. Price, plaintiff’s lawyer
Please remember that each case is different. Past successes afford no guarantee of future results. Every case is different and must be judged on its own merits.