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Starkville family hurt in fatal accident wins $200,000 judgment

 

Tim Pratt

 

STARKVILLE -- A Starkville family that was injured in a June 2006 accident on Highway 82 was awarded more than $200,000 Thursday in a civil suit against the estate of the other vehicle''s driver and his employer.  

 

An Oktibbeha County jury ruled in favor of Bonita Jordan and her two grandchildren, Brittany Williams, 17, and Jacorey Williams, 16, each of whom were plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the estate of Timothy Nootbaar, of Starkville, and Hayes Hunt Logging Inc., of Sturgis. The jury awarded Jordan $180,000, Brittany Williams $17,500 and Jacorey Williams $10,000 in damages. 

 

Jordan had racked up approximately $45,000 in medical bills for the injuries she sustained in the wreck, while Brittany and Jacorey Williams'' medical bills totaled approximately $10,000 and $4,000, respectively. Nootbaar, who was 18 when the accident occurred, died from his injuries. 

 

Jordan and her grandchildren had no comment after the ruling Thursday, but their attorneys, Gregg Rogers, of Louisville, and J.C. Patton, of Starkville, said they were "comfortable" with the jury''s decision.  

 

"You''re never totally pleased with the decision, but we''re comfortable with it," Patton said. "It was a fair verdict. We were comfortable with all three verdicts, but the only one we think might be a little low would be Brittany''s. Hers was a little bit less than what we thought." 

 

Nootbaar was traveling westbound on Highway 82 near the Oktibbeha-Lowndes County line the afternoon of June 14, 2006, when he crossed the median, went airborn and landed on an eastbound 2005 Nissan Altima driven by Jordan. Jacorey Williams was a passenger in the front seat and Brittany Williams was in the back seat. 

 

Investigators never determined what caused Nootbaar to lose control of his vehicle and cross the median. 

 

According to testimony this week in Oktibbeha County Circuit Court, Jordan suffered a concussion, plus bone fractures in her knee and back. She also suffered injuries to her neck, mouth, pelvis, hips and ankle, and went through years of medical procedures and physical therapy.  

 

Brittany Williams suffered sprains and bruising to her chest and shoulder, she said, and her ankle and knee, among other things. She testified earlier this week that the injuries forced her to quit playing clarinet because she wouldn''t have been able to march in the Starkville High School marching band. She still feels the effects of the accident to this day, she said. 

 

"Some days I might hurt; some days it will be OK for me," she testified Wednesday. "I just can''t go outside like I used to and play with my brother and my friends because of my knee." 

 

Jacorey Williams suffered through painful bruising to his chest and stomach, he testified this week. 

 

Attorney Robert Stacy, of Oxford, represented Nootbaar''s estate and questioned all of the family members this week about when the pain they experienced actually began. He cited medical reports from the day of the accident where doctors didn''t mark "knee pain" as a symptom for Brittany or Jacorey Williams, yet they both testified this week that the knee pain began immediately after the accident.  

 

During his closing arguments Thursday, Patton defended his clients, saying they felt pain "all over" immediately after the accident and might not have explained every single ache and pain to doctors.  

 

"You''re certainly not going to be able to identify every physical complaint every time you go to the doctor," Patton said. 

 

Hayes Hunt, owner of Hayes Hunt Logging, had no comment after the ruling. Nootbaar''s father, Keith, had very little to say. 

 

"It''s just a tragic accident with no explanation," Keith Nootbaar said.

 

 

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Reader Comments

Article Comment Typical commented at 1/29/2010 12:35:00 PM:

Typical..... Here you have a family that has lost the life of their loved one. You have no explanation as to why this accident occured. Sure its terrible that the Jordan/Williams family were injured, but no one died in their vehicle. It was an accident. Definately what is wrong with our legal system and our country today. People always looking for some stupid reason to sue someone. PATHETIC! Im sure now that money miraculously healed their knees.

 

Article Comment Greed commented at 1/29/2010 1:20:00 PM:

There was no reason to sue that man's estate other than selfishness and greed.

 

Article Comment Sarah Rice commented at 1/29/2010 2:39:00 PM:

I am so glad I left Mississippi when I did! Some folks there are still "dumb" as a bag of "ROCKS"!If it was your family member that was injured, I don't think you would be holding up signs outside the court house saying "Please Don't Sue!

 

Article Comment Typical commented at 1/29/2010 3:24:00 PM:

No its called having morals. And doing what is right. Totally agree GREED!

 

Article Comment Typical commented at 1/29/2010 3:30:00 PM:

RE: SARAH RICE....If it were my family member that got hurt...... I look at it as it was an accident. The guy didnt purposely just decide to run into them. Things in life like that just happen. Thats why you buy insurance. Sure they may have problems down the road, but its just the way it is. Id just be thankful they were still alive. Youre another one of those types that just look for any way to make a dollar no matter how low you go. Shameful

 

Article Comment Typical commented at 1/29/2010 3:34:00 PM:

One last thing....its people like you and the ones sueing for things like this that makes your insurance unaffordable. Maybe you should be writing to Oboma, maybe he can get you some free insurance.

 

Article Comment Are You Serious? commented at 1/29/2010 4:51:00 PM:

I can't believe how quick some people are to call these people greedy! The Jordan/Williams family may not have lost lives but they still suffered a lot of pain/medical issues and enormous medical bills due to an accident where they were not at fault. Yes it was an accident and we don't know why Mr. Nootbaar lost control but the fact is he hit the family's vehicle causing them serious injuries. They had every right to sue! Also Typical, I find it really amusing that you can hide behind your computer and accuse someone of being "one of those types". What are you REALLY trying to say?

 

Article Comment Lance Hearn commented at 1/29/2010 9:06:00 PM:

"Are you serious", I believe he said exactly what he was trying to say with no hidden agenda. He said, " You're another one of those types that just look for any way to make a dollar no matter how low you go". The way the sentence is structured, those who, "look for any way to make a dollar no matter how low they go," describes the "types" he was referring to. I am not sure that I can break it down anymore than that. If you can't understand it now, then you are one of those "types" that always looks for something that 's not there. It is unkind silly to accuse someone of something that you are not positive of. What are you "really" trying to say?

 

Article Comment Doesn''t matter commented at 1/30/2010 10:36:00 AM:

They had the right to sue. Who else was going to pay their medical bills. The other party was the one that caused the accident and they should pay. Its not about greed. The other party cause the accident so they paid even the courts decided so was in the wrong so thats why they were awarded.

 

Article Comment Are You Serious? commented at 1/30/2010 11:22:00 AM:

Lance, there is no need for your lesson on sentence structure nor did I ask you to break anything down for me. You are right about one thing...it is unkind and silly to accuse someone of something you are not positive of, which is exactly what "Typical" did by calling this family greedy and labeling Ms Rice as "one of those types". Good day, sir.

 

Article Comment PIMS commented at 1/30/2010 1:19:00 PM:

well I believe that it was a bit low, what is an 18 year old doing driving a log truck???? any of you been on 82 with the log trucks trying to run you over?? I think we need a state trooper about every 3 miles on that highway..
If it were your family who were hurt you would have sued to.. I would have,even if there had been 10 in the truck that died...that does not make the injuries any less costly or damaging to the survivors in the other vehicle..
the owner of the company could have payed,yet he let the drivers estate be sued??? hmmm guess he didn't want his insurance to go up.

 

Article Comment Kim commented at 1/30/2010 9:26:00 PM:

I am the mom the young man that lost control of his pick up truck - not a "logging truck", Timothy lost his life, rolling and flipping into oncoming traffic, he did not "land" on the other vehicle, she saw him coming and for some reason did not stop. I don't know why Timothy had to die, and I feel for the other family, but they get to live. Maybe now a lot more comfortable...

 

Article Comment Heather Black commented at 1/30/2010 9:34:00 PM:

TIM was one of my good friends. He was not driving a log truck. After the car wreck happened a log truck was coming over the hill and to prevent from hitting Tim and the people his truck hit the driver of the logging truck ended up flipping the truck. That man got fired because He was trying to prevent more of an accident.

Tim's accident was determined. He had a blow out and he lost control and ended up in the other lane. Tim was a good christian young man who loved God very much. He would not have done that on purpose. He is no longer here. Yes, these people should be able to get money for their injuries. But the fact that they don't think $200,00 is not enough or complaining about not being able to go outside is BULL! Tim's family has been dealing with their child's death. These people I feel like are greedy in a way. I think it is horrible how certain people find ways to get money any way possible. If it was the other way around Tim would have probably got nothing. It seems like the good people of this world with Godly morals always get the short end of the stick when doing right. But those who are see only things of the world get everything. Tim is in a place now that is so much better than what the whole world could pay.

 

Article Comment Typical commented at 1/31/2010 1:51:00 PM:

Why sue the estate? Did he not have insurance on his vehicle? Records shows that he did. Why didnt they sue the insurance company? Exactly...they said they didnt think 200k was enough.... States that they had racked up 45k worth of medical bills and 200k wasnt enough? GREED

 

Article Comment MS Man commented at 2/1/2010 1:29:00 PM:

Sarah Rice, we are glad you left also... If your family member was killed in a two vehicle wreck, you would not be begging those in the other car to sue you, nor would you be offering them a handout. That is what insurance is for. Kinda works both ways doesn't it

 

Article Comment Jodi commented at 2/19/2010 12:38:00 AM:

To shadow what Kim and Heather said, Tim was my bestfriends and this is just ridiculous that this is happening to those that he has left behind. The fact that this family thinks that $200k is not enough for them is so dumb. My bestfriend died in a car accident and there are people complaining about just having pain?!?! At least you can continue to live your life and can continue to take another breath. I'm sorry, but if I was in the other vehicle, I would find better people to sue than the family of Tim. They had no control over the accident and neither did Tim. His tire blew out, sue the tire company, sue the insurance company. Don't sue a family that lost a loved one and make them suffer anymore for what they have already lost. In fact, why sue at all? You can't carry money with you once you die.

 

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