Umphrey files personal injury suit against Conn's, driver

David Yates Dec. 17, 2007, 2:43pm

Walter Umphrey

Well-known Beaumont attorney Walter Umphrey has filed a personal injury lawsuit against a well-known Beaumont-based company.

Umphrey filed the suit on behalf of client Lisa Smith, claiming she was injured by a truck driver for Conn's Appliances. The suit names Conn's and driver Ronald Warner and was filed Dec. 14 in Jefferson County District Court.

According to the plaintiff's petition, on July 6, 2007, Smith was driving on F.M. 105 near Texas 62 in Orange County, and was "obeying all applicable traffic laws" when her vehicle collided into the rear of a commercial vehicle driven by Warner and owned by Conn Appliances, Inc.

"Mr. Warner was in the process of illegally backing the truck in the opposite direction of on-coming traffic on Highway 105 when the collision occurred," the suit said. "Defendant, Warner, was in the course and scope of his employment with Conn Appliances, Inc., at the time of the collision. Plaintiff, Lisa Smith, suffered serious and permanent bodily injuries as a result of the collision."

The suit continues by alleging Conn's was negligent for hiring Warner and is liable under the legal theory of respondeat superior, which is Latin for "let the master answer."

The suit also alleges Warner was negligent for failing to properly back the vehicle, keep a proper lookout, yield the right-of-way, and for traveling the wrong direction in a marked lane of traffic .

"Defendants' negligence legally caused serious injuries to plaintiff," the suit said.

"Those injuries have resulted in damages in excess of the minimum jurisdictional limits of this court and include: reasonable and necessary medical expenses, past and future; loss of earnings and earning capacity, past and future; physical pain and suffering, past and future; mental anguish, past and future; disfigurement, past and future; and physical impairment, past and future. In addition, Plaintiff asserts a claim for costs of court as well as prejudgment and postjudgment interest for all elements of damages on which such interest is allowed by law."

Smith is demanding a trial by jury.

Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th Judicial District, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. B180-903

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