LNVA named in motor vehicle collision suit

By Kelly Holleran | Jun 21, 2010

A Beaumont woman and her husband allege a local agency refuses to pay for damages the woman incurred after one of its drivers rear-ended her vehicle.

Jessika and Shane Neil filed a complaint June 10 in Jefferson County District Court against Lower Neches Valley Authority.

The Neils claim Jessika Neil drove her blue Toyota Camry south in the 6800 block of S. Major Drive on June 10, 2008, when she approached a vehicle turning north onto West Park.

As Jessika Neil slowed for the vehicle in front of her, Sam Harmon Jr., who drove a vehicle owned by the LNVA behind Jessika Neil, failed to control his speed and crashed into her Toyota, according to the complaint. In turn, Jessika Neil's vehicle crashed into the vehicle in front of her, the suit states.

Because of the accident, Jessika Neil sustained crippling injuries to her neck, back and body and incurred significant medical expenses, the complaint says. In addition, Shane Neil claims he lost his wife's consortium.

The Neils blames LNVA driver Harmon for causing the accident, saying he failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to control his speed, failed to maintain a safe distance, failed to timely apply his brakes and failed to take evasive action.

They say LNVA should pay for the costs they incurred because of the accident, but refuses to do so.

As a water conservation and reclamation district, the Lower Neches Valley Authority is a non-profit agency of the state of Texas funded by revenue from the sale of both raw and treated water to municipal, industrial and agricultural customers.

The Neils seek unspecified damages, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, costs and other relief to which they may be entitled.

Steven C. Barkley of Beaumont will be representing them.

The case has been assigned to Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: B187-049.

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