Dayton residents sue US government over auto collision in Kansas

Marilyn Tennissen Apr. 30, 2009, 1:25pm

Two local residents have filed a federal lawsuit, alleging a government employee caused an auto collision.

Plaintiffs Bobby Remmers and Jackie Wood of Dayton filed suit against the United States of America on April 24 in the Beaumont Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

According to the original complaint, on Sept. 7, 2007, Reemers was driving his 1995 Mercury Cougar in Emporia, Kan., with Wood as a passenger. A school bus pulled up next to them, with both vehicles heading southbound on Industrial Road.

Motorist Gregory Kerns exited a Staples' parking lot and cut across five lanes of Industrial Road to reach the Wal-Mart on the other side, the suit states.

Kearns was an employee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, driving a USDA vehicle and was acting within the scope of his office or employment.

At that point, Remmers proceeded to "pass out of the school bus' shadow," the suit states.

"Kerns, who had recklessly assumed that no vehicles were proceeding southbound in the far west lane, successfully crossed in front of the school bus," the plaintiffs claim. "After successfully crossing the lane occupied by the school bus, Kerns then collided with Remmers' vehicle. Remmers and Wood sustained injuries as a result of the collision."

Remmers sustained a cervical and shoulder strain, headaches and a detached retina that has left him permanently blind in his left eye and unable to resume his career as a welder.

Wood suffered a neck, cervical and lumbar strain and right knee pain.

On Dec. 13, the plaintiffs filed their administrative claims with the U.S. government, but their claims were denied by the USDA on March 23.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages, attorneys' fees and other relief.

Daniel P. Barton is attorney-in-charge for the plaintiffs.

The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone.

Case No. 1:09-cv-345-MAC

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