Plaintiff's late husband found negligent in causing wreck that killed him

David Yates Oct. 31, 2011, 8:58am

A Jefferson County jury recently found that plaintiff Melissa Stapleton's late husband was the negligent party causing the automobile collision that ultimately killed him.

As previously reported, Donna Ward filed a personal injury suit on June 16, 2009, against Eclipse Trucking, Zarsky Lumbar Co. Inc., Alejandro Villegas, Revilino Gonzales, Rosalba Gonzales and Melissa Daniels Stapleton as representative of the estate of Peter Stapleton.

A court official told the Southeast Record that Ward settled with the defendants and that that the case now focuses on Stapleton's cross claim against the other defendants.

The trial, which began Oct. 24 and ended two days later, centered on the death of Stapleton's late husband, Peter Stapleton, who was riding a motorcycle when the wreck occurred.

Court records show that the collision occurred on March 22, 2009, on Interstate 10 near Vidor.

At the time of the collision, Villegas was working for Eclipse Trucking.

According to the charge of the court, jurors were asked if Villegas and Eclipse, Peter Stapleton and/or Express Carriers were responsible for causing the wreck.

Jurors assigned 100 percent of the negligence to Peter Stapleton, declining to award his widow any damages.

Stapleton was suing for her pecuniary loss, loss of companionship and mental anguish.

Attorney Edward Fisher represents her.

Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, is presiding over the case.

Case No. D184-302

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