ILNews

Jury awards $6.1M to brothers injured in Marion crash

March 24, 2017
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A judge this week certified what’s believed the largest-ever Grant County jury trial award of damages in a case stemming from a fatal car crash that happened almost eight years ago.

Judge Jeffrey D. Todd this week certified a jury’s $6.1 million verdict against the estate of Karen L. Roush and in favor of two brothers who were injured as teens in a car her vehicle struck.  

Taylor and Kolby O’Banion of Marion were at an intersection when a car driven by Roush crossed the center line at a high rate of speed, struck their car, left the road and struck a light pole before coming to a stop. Roush was killed in the crash.

Litigation combined in the case included a product-liability claim filed by Roush’s estate against Ford, alleging the accelerator stuck on her 2005 Mercury Monterey van that was involved in the crash.

A six-person jury assigned 100 percent of fault to Roush, though, awarding $3.1 million to Kolby O’Banion and $3 million to Taylor O’Banion. The jury also awarded costs to the O’Banions and Ford as prevailing parties.

Plaintiff’s attorney Todd Glickfield of Marion said the family had been “going through hell” as Roush’s insurer, Farm Bureau Insurance, refused to offer settlement outside a range of $200,000-$600,000. “In all honesty, it was an exercise in frustration,” he said.

Glickfield said the brothers, now 24 and 26, were left with permanent facial scarring and suffered numerous and lingering physical and psychological trauma as the family struggled to pay medical bills that exceeded $300,000 resulting from the crash.

Josef Musser of Spitzer Herriman Stephenson Holderead in Marion, who represented Farm Bureau, did not immediately respond to a message left Friday.

“They started on this odyssey to try to have Ford Motor Co. found at fault almost immediately after the accident,” Glickfield said. He said Roush had been covered by a policy with limits above $2 million. “I think they felt like they could stall this case out,” he said.

The jury, Glickfield said, “saw through the product liability claim and pretty much realized what happened to this family, and that’s why we got the number we got. … Is there bad faith by the insurance company? All those issues now have to be answered.”

He said he believes the jury sent a message that they didn’t believe the product liability claim.

He believes the jury soured after hearing from Farm Bureau’s expert witness, mechanical engineer David Zedonis, who testified about an alleged defect that caused the accelerator to stick. Ford countered with three expert witnesses who testified about testing they did to try to replicate the alleged defect, but it could not be recreated.

After Zedonis left the stand, Glickfield said he could sense the jury seething, and he believed jurors might award damages above the policy limits. Glickfield said at that point he offered to settle the case for $1.5 million, but the defense declined.

Ford had refused to offer settlement, Glickfield said, and instead sought to vindicate the safety of its vehicle.

“We fully proved our vehicle is a non-defective vehicle,” said Frost Brown Todd LLC attorney Kevin Schiferl, among the attorneys who represented Ford.

Ford issued a statement after the verdict. “This was an unfortunate accident and our sympathy continues to go out to both the O’Banion and Roush families,” the automaker said.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Additional facts
    The O'Banions also sued Ford claiming the Roush vehicle's throttle cable was defective and stuck, and did not present evidence or argue to the contrary at trial. The proceedings were delayed by an appeal on the admissibility of expert testimony in which O' Banions also joined with the Roush Estate.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. All of these comments you see on the internet about Dr matamah are not just comments, they are truthful words of experience written by those who have been there and found help in reuniting with the ones they hold dear to their heart and other marital and financial problems just like i did. am Svein Erik Bjerke from Gardermoen, Norway I can tell you this because I also asked him for help to cast a spell to fix my relationship with the only woman I have ever loved after been married four time in the last four years cos i didn't believe in love but in the power of being rich. When it came to meet my wife it was a different case because I fell for her in every way. At the time i met her it was only a while before the relationship became serious cos I bet she love me also. We moved in together and our relationship blossomed. we got married but couldn't have a baby and then I discovered my wife was barren. I had to try some spell casters but to no avail until I contacted Dr matamah. HE restored my wife's womb and just like that she got pregnant, she has given birth now and our baby is growing very healthy. I later casted a money spell through him which he did and today we are rich and doing very fine. Thank God for our lives and also to Dr matamah who God has used to blessed us. I know that not everybody will believe this moreover its just something on the internet but my heart knows every of this word that formed this entire comment is true. Am Leaving Dr matamah's contact for those who believe this and need help as well. his contact is: guruvoodoospellcast@yahoo.com

  2. Or does the study merely wish they fade away? “It just hasn’t risen substantially in decades,” Joan Williams, director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law told Law360. “What we should be looking for is progress, and that’s not what we’re seeing.” PROGRESS = less white males in leadership. Thus the heading and honest questions here ....

  3. One need not wonder why we are importing sex slaves into North America. Perhaps these hapless victims of human trafficking were being imported for a book of play with the Royal Order of Jesters? https://medium.com/@HeapingHelping/who-are-the-royal-order-of-jesters-55ffe6f6acea Indianapolis hosts these major pervs in a big way .... https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Royal-Order-of-Jesters-National-Office/163360597025389 I wonder what affect they exert on Hoosier politics? And its judiciary? A very interesting program on their history and preferences here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtgBdUtw26c

  4. Joseph Buser, Montgomery County Chief Prosecutor, has been involved in both representing the State of Indiana as Prosecutor while filing as Representing Attorney on behalf of himself and the State of Indiana in Civil Proceedings for seized cash and merchandise using a Verified Complaint For Forfeiture of Motor Vehicle, Us Currency And Reimbursement Of Costs, as is evident in Montgomery County Circuit Court Case Number 54C01-1401-MI-000018, CCS below, seen before Judge Harry Siamas, and filed on 01/13/2014. Sheriff Mark Castille is also named. All three defendants named by summons have prior convictions under Mr. Buser, which as the Indiana Supreme Court, in the opinion of The Matter of Mark R. McKinney, No. 18S00-0905-DI-220, stated that McKinney created a conflict of interest by simultaneously prosecuting drug offender cases while pocketing assets seized from defendants in those cases. All moneys that come from forfeitures MUST go to the COMMON SCHOOL FUND.

  5. I was incarcerated at that time for driving while suspended I have no felonies...i was placed on P block I remember several girls and myself asking about voting that day..and wasn't given a answer or means of voting..we were told after the election who won that was it.

ADVERTISEMENT