No damages awarded in auto collision suit against Knife River

By David Yates | Oct 26, 2015

An automobile collision suit brought against Knife River Corp. that was recently called up for trial ended with no damages awarded.

Orange County resident Dominick Helveston originally filed a lawsuit Oct. 18, 2012, in Jefferson County District Court against Knife River, alleging a collision caused by the company caused his vehicle to strike a tree and a concrete barrier.

Chaney Environmental Systems and Marco Medina were also added as defendants.

The trial began Oct. 19 and ended four days later.

According to the charge of the court, jurors found that Medina was employee of Chaney Environmental at the time of the incident but found that no negligence was committed on his part.

However, jurors did find that both Knife River and Helveston, the plaintiff, were negligent, assigning 75 percent of the blame to Knife River and the remaining 25 percent to Helveston.

No damages were awarded.

In his complaint, Helveston alleges he drove on N. Seventh Street near Knife River’s premises on July 31, 2012, when suddenly a dump truck that had just left Knife River cut Helveston off.

“As a result of the actions of the large dump truck, Petitioner attempted to take evasive actions,” the original petition states.

“Unfortunately, a water truck had recently sprayed water on the roadway in question and petitioner lost traction. As a result of the actions of the dump truck and the slipperiness of the road, Petitioner was forced off the roadway, struck a tree and then struck a concrete barrier.”

Helveston sought damages for his pain, impairment and medical expenses.

Chris M. Portner and J. Trenton Bond of Portner and Bond in Beaumont represent him.

Judge Kent Walston, 58th District Court, is presiding over the case.

Case No. B193-369

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