Three wrecks in one year leads woman to sue three drivers in one lawsuit

By Kelly Holleran | Jun 22, 2010

A Harris County woman blames three other drivers for causing three separate accidents in which she sustained injuries within one year.

Shirlene James filed a lawsuit June 9 in Jefferson County District Court against Robyn M. Gilchriest, Eduardo A. Contreras and Bobby G. Dean III.

James claims the first collision occurred as she drove west on E. Lucas Drive in Beaumont on July 23, 2008. Suddenly Gilchriest, who drove behind James, failed to control her speed and crashed into the rear of James' vehicle, according to the complaint.

On March 4, 2009, James drove north on U.S. 59 in Polk County when Contreras, who also drove north and pulled a flatbed trailer, made an unsafe lane change, causing the back left wheel of the trailer to crash into James' right fender and right door and making James lose control of her vehicle, the suit states.

"On July 7, 2009, while Ms. James was still treating for her injuries sustained in both the July 23, 2008, crash and the March 4, 2009, crash, she was involved in another crash," the complaint states.

In the third collision, James drove east in the 5000 block of Spring Cypress in the town of Spring and slowed to make a right turn, the complaint says. She claims Dean, who also drove east two cars behind her, failed to control his speed and braked hard, causing his vehicle to veer off the road and to strike James as she attempted to navigate the right turn.

According to the complaint, the venue is proper in Jefferson County because the initial crash making the basis of the lawsuit occurred in Jefferson County and is the county in which defendant Gilchriest resides.

"The two subsequent crashes complete the series of occurrences contemplated by Section 15.005 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code that caused damages to the Plaintiff, thus venue is proper as to the Defendants in each of the two subsequent crashes," the complaint states.

James claims she has incurred medical costs; experienced pain, suffering, mental anguish, physical impairment and physical disfigurement; and sustained injuries to her cervical spine and hips and suffers from headaches because of the accidents.

She blames the defendants for negligence.

Terry Bryant and Stacy L. Kelly of Houston will be representing her.

The case has been assigned to Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: A187-037.

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