$5.05 million Settlement

Personal Injury / Vehicular

March 2009
Caption: Brian Gatson v. Dohrn Transfer Company, et al.
Court: Circuit Court of Livingston County (transfer from DeKalb County)
Case Number/Date: 07DK-CV00046
Judge: Jason Kanoy
Mediator: William H. Sanders, Jr.
Plaintiff’s Experts: Gary M. Yarkony, M.D., Chicago, IL (life-care planning); John Ward, Ph.D., Prairie Village, KS (economics); John Pazell, M.D., Prairie Village, KS (orthopedics).
Special Damages: past medical expenses in excess of $2,000,000.00; economic loss, including wages and life care plan, of $4,000,000.00.
Insurance Carrier: Zurich American Insurance Company
Plaintiff’s Attorneys: James Montee, The Montee Law Firm, P.C., St. Joseph, MO / Gale Carpenter, The Montee Law Firm, P.C., St. Joseph, MO


A Chillicothe, MO man injured in a motor vehicle accident has reached a $5,050,000.00 settlement of his case pending in Livingston County Circuit Court.

Brian Gatson, a 35-year-old construction worker and father, was driving a 1989 International dump truck westbound on U.S. Highway 36 in DeKalb County at 7:00 a.m. on January 3, 2007. Highway 36 is a divided highway with two westbound lanes.

Just minutes before the collision, the driver of the tractor- trailer unit belonging to Dohrn Transfer Company, driving westbound ahead of Gatson, drifted off the right shoulder, over-corrected, jacknifed his tractor, and detached the trailer in the roadway.

The tractor proceeded into the median between the eastbound and westbound lanes and the trailer sat on its side across the roadway without lights. The first westbound motorist evaded the abandoned trailer, striking only minor debris without serious consequence. Gatson’s dump truck, however, smashed into the trailer, pushing it off the road.

Gatson’s truck collided with a disconnected semi-trailer unit resting on its side on the roadway, blocking both lanes of Highway 36. Gatson’s dump truck then traveled off the left side of the roadway and struck and embankment, spun 180 degrees, struck the embankment again, then spun 90 degrees. Gatson, an unrestrained driver, was ejected through the windshield.

Brian Gatson suffered life-threatening injuries, including crush injury, fractured left acetabulum, fractured left ischium, scapular fracture, rib fractures, thoracic spine fractures, mid-lumbar vertebrae fractures, pelvic and SI joint fractures, and liver trauma. Gatson was continuously hospitalized for ten months after his accident, undergoing more than twenty surgeries and procedures. Gatson’s recovery was delayed by numerous complications resulting from his injuries, including retroperitoneal hemorrhage, persistent bile leak and subhepatic retroperitoneal abscess, shock liver, traumatic pancreatitis, renal and respiratory failure, abdominal wound infection, and sepsis.