Crash blamed on sudden lane shift, suit says

Kelly Holleran May 3, 2010, 7:19am

An Orange County woman claims she and her minor son suffered physical impairment after the driver of the vehicle in which they rode suddenly and unexpectedly switched lanes, causing a collision.

Dorothy Carter filed a lawsuit April 23 in Jefferson County District Court against Billie Sue Loftin and William Brown.

Carter claims she and her son, Mathew Melton, rode in a vehicle Loftin drove in Beaumont on May 16, 2008, when Loftin changed lanes in front of another driver and came to an abrupt stop, causing the other driver to slam into the rear of the vehicle. At the time of the collision, Loftin drove a vehicle insured by Brown, according to the complaint.

Because of the accident, Carter incurred medical costs for both her and her son, lost earnings and her earning capacity and lost her parental consortium, the suit states. Both she and Melton suffered physical impairment, physical pain and mental anguish, the complaint says.

In addition, she claims Melton suffers from disfigurement and will suffer an impaired earning capacity in the future.

Carter blames Loftin for causing the collision, saying she failed to maintain control of her vehicle and drove with wanton disregard for the safety of others.

Carter seeks an unspecified judgment, plus pre-judgment interest, costs and other relief to which she may be entitled.

Jonathan C. Juhan of Beaumont will be representing her.

The case has been assigned to Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: D186-669.

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