1:52 PM
Stone County Clerk Judy Berkstresser

An elected official in Stone County is suing the county for personal and punitive damages after she was severely injured in car crash in January 2011.

Judy Berkstresser, who is the County Clerk, claims the county was negligent in providing stop signs to control north and southbound traffic on Marble Road; not properly securing/or replacing "vandalism resistant" stop signs and claims the county was negligent in warning drivers about visibility obstruction on Billy Joe Road due to the grade of the road, and failure to warn drivers of the dangerous intersection.

On January 6, 2011, Berkstresser was traveling westbound on Billy Joe Road and had completed her stop at at the intersection at Marble Road.  When she attempted to turn left her vehicle was struck by a northbound vehicle, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol crash report.

Berkstresser's left leg was shattered in the crash.  She also suffered injuries to her pelvis, sternum, hip, ribs, spinous process, mandible, left pneumothorax and injury to her bottom teeth.

The petition states Berkstresser will have ongoing medical expenses for the foreseeable future and states she has missed time from work, and will continue to have to take time off for medical attention for injuries she received in the crash.

Berkstresser's attorney, Neil Chanter, says attempts made to settle with Trident, the County's insurance company, were met with no response.

A secondary suit was filed on behalf of Berkstresser’s husband Allen, the former Stone County Assessor.

According to court documents Allen Berkstresser, “by reason of injuries to his wife, he has been and will in the future be deprived of Judy’s society, services, association, consortium and companionship. His enjoyment thereof has been and in the future will be lessened, impaired and diminished.”

The state Supreme Court will appoint a visiting judge as Stone County Circuit Judge Robert Wiley recused himself to avoid appearance of impropriety, because Berkstresser is an elected official in Stone County.
UPDATE 03-27-12:

Berkstresser's lawsuit has been moved on a change of venue to Lawrence County.  The attorney for the county is Springield based Jason Coatney.


Anonymous said...

So if I understand correctly, Ms. Berkstressor is suing because she got hit when she pulled out in front of oncoming traffic???

Kathee Baird said...

From my understanding the negligence allegation is that the county did NOT replace the stop signs that were stolen from that made the intersection a three way stop.