Neck injuries from crash lead to lawsuit

Kelly Holleran Feb. 4, 2010, 2:25am

A Silsbee woman says two Jefferson County girls suffered impairment and disfigurement after the car in which they rode became involved in an collision.

Becky White filed a lawsuit Jan. 28 in Jefferson County District Court against Brown's Machine Works and Construction Co., Yolonda Y. Brown and Stacy L. Alexander.

White claims Lauren and Megan Munoz rode in a vehicle that became involved in a wreck on Sept. 20, 2009.

Because of the crash, Lauren Munoz suffered multiple fractures to her neck, a "hangman's fracture" to her C2, rib fractures and a bruised lung, according to the complaint. She still has to wear a halo device because of her injuries, the suit states.

"At the time of this incident, Lauren was a happy, vibrant and very active girl, involved in sports, water activities and drama activities," the complaint says. "Becky White, as next friend of Lauren Munoz and Megan Munoz, asserts bystander claims as a result of the emotional trauma, distress and mental anguish they have suffered and will continue to endure in the future as a result of having been in the vehicle at the time of the incident made the basis of this litigation as a result of Defendants' negligence and their experiential perception of the event."

In addition to their impairment and disfigurement, the girls incurred medical costs and suffered emotional trauma, distress and mental anguish, White claims.

White blames the defendants for causing the accident, saying they failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to turn the vehicle to avoid a collision, failed to heed warnings, failed to proceed only when it was safe to do so, failed to control the speed of the vehicle, failed to apply brakes, failed to yield the right-of-way and failed to properly train employees.

She seeks a temporary restraining order preventing Brown's Machine Works and Brown from discarding or altering the white freight liner involved in the collision. She also wants the court to award her compensatory and exemplary damages, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Brian D. Sutton, Joseph N. Jannise Jr., Stephanie H. Harris and Matthew J. Riley of Sutton and Jacobs in Beaumont will be representing her.

Jefferson County District Court case number: B185-822.

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