$355,000 Settlement

Rural Family Recovers Against Grain Truck

Venue: Carroll County Circuit Court

Judge: David H. Miller

Case Number: 12CR-CC00165

Caption: Gavin R. Boatman, a minor, by and through his Next Friend Dottie E. Boatman, Dottie E. Boatman, and Jason M. Hartwig v. Brian Taylor and James W. Tucker

Settlement: Gavin Boatman $105,000; Dottie Boatman $100,000; Jason Hartwig $150,000

Plaintiff's Attorney: James Montee, Montee Law Firm, P.C., St. Joseph

Defendants' Attorney: Keith Cary, Franke Schultz & Mullen, Kansas City

Plaintiff's Expert: Dr. Garth Russell, Columbia (Orthopedic)

Plaintiffs in a Carroll County lawsuit agreed to a $355,000 settlement against the driver and owner of grain truck a month prior to their scheduled trial.

On October 31, 2011 in the afternoon, Jason Hartwig was driving a 1998 Dodge Durango northbound on Highway 65 in rural Carroll County. Hartwig attempted a left-hand turn at the intersection of County Road 190 when he was struck by a 2005 Freightliner hauling a grain trailer. The driver of the Freightliner, James Tucker, was traveling northbound behind Hartwig and was attempting to pass at the time of the collision.

Tucker told the Missouri State Highway Patrol he realized the Dodge Durango was slowing down and he thought it was turning right. Hartwig claimed he signaled a left turn.

Hartwig and two passengers, Dottie Boatman and her 5-year-old son, Gavin, filed a lawsuit against Tucker and his employer Brian Taylor in October of 2012. The plaintiffs' petition alleged that Tucker was negligent in passing at or near an intersection.

Jason Hartwig suffered injuries to his left shoulder and left knee and in January 2012 on the same day underwent arthroscopic surgery of both shoulder and knee. Hartwig's medical bills were $34,000 and reduced to $20,000 through health insurance payment. Hartwig agreed to settle his claim for $150,000. Dottie Boatman injured her left shoulder and neck. Boatman underwent left shoulder arthroscopy in May 2012 and received a single epidural injection in February 2013 for her neck. Dottie Boatman's unreduced medical bills were $32,149 and she agreed to a settlement of $100,000. Gavin Boatman suffered cuts to his face from broken glass. Gavin's medical bills were $30,692 and reduced to $6,000 by payment. Gavin's claim was settled for $105,000 with court approval of the minor child's claim and payment made through a structured annuity.