Father sues driver, spotter after son hit by trailer

David Yates Jun. 24, 2008, 7:22am

On Oct. 31, 2006, 4-year-old Jonathan Conley was run over by a trailer being towed by Phillip Griffin. The child's father, Joshua Conley, alleges Kimberly Erwin, who was acting as a spotter, negligently failed to stop the incident.

The suit, filed June 23 in Jefferson County District Court, also names Marscha Griffin, aka Manscha Griffin, as a defendant for negligently entrusting her vehicle to Phillip Griffin.

According to the suit, the incident occurred in Polk County almost to two years ago. "Plaintiffs' injuries and damages occurred when Jonathan Conley was run over by a trailer being towed by Phillip Griffin. Defendant Erwin was acting as a spotter."

The suit does not give any further details regarding how Jonathan was run over, the nature of his injuries or the location of his father Joshua Conley at the time of the incident. However the suit lists the absence of guard rails or barricades to prevent passengers from falling out of the trailer as an act of negligence by Phillip Griffin.

The suit goes on to allege Phillip was an unfit driver and Marscha "knew or should have known of this fact."

"Defendant's conduct was characterized by 'malice' and gross negligence … and entitles (plaintiff) to recover exemplary damages from Defendant."

The following acts of negligence allegedly committed by defendants are listed below:

  • Failing to keep such a lookout as would have been kept by a person exercising ordinary care;
  • Traveling at a fast rate of speed;
  • Failing to make such a timely and proper application of the brakes;
  • Failing to make such turning movements of the vehicle;
  • Failing to have rails and/or barricades to prevent passengers from falling off the vehicle and or trailer; and
  • Failing to properly communicate and warn Defendant Griffin of the presence of the Plaintiff.

    In addition to exemplary damages, Joshua Conley is suing for his son's past and future mental anguish, lost wages, medical expenses, impairment and disfigurement, plus actual damages and all court costs.

    The plaintiffs are represented by attorney Keith Fletcher and Simmons & Fletcher.

    The case has been assigned to Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd Judicial District.

    Case No. E181-948

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