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Seat-Belted In? It Could Cost You.

Dougherty & Holloway Jan. 8, 2015

If you aren’t wearing your seatbelt and you get in an accident, it could cost you.

Gary Twenter, 54, of Bunceton in central Missouri, won a $45,000 verdict from a Cooper County jury for injuries suffered when his car was rear-ended by Shirley Chenault, 79, of Boonville in July of 2006. Twenter was waiting to turn left on Route B in Boonville and driving a 1989 Chevy Scottsdale pickup truck when he was hit from behind by Chenault’s 1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass Sierra.

The plaintiff’s attorney, Mike Campbell of The Law Offices of Matt Uhrig in Ashland, said his client suffered a neck injury that progressed to a herniated disc and caused pain and numbness in his right arm. However, Twenter was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.

gavel on a moneyCampbell said the defense countered that Twenter’s neck problems stemmed from his work as a farmer and as a state Department of Transportation employee. Defense attorney Rebecca E. Schubert of Bingley, Hart & Hesi in St. Louis did not respond to an interview request.

The jury didn’t deliberate long on Aug. 27, 2014, delivering its verdict the next day after deliberating for less than two hours. The $45,000 award was offset by $450 for the plaintiff’s failure to wear his seatbelt.