Settlement possible in lawsuit naming appellate judge

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-118366496711839.jpg’, ”, ‘Richard P. Goldenhersh‘);

Illinois Fifth District Appellate Judge Richard P. Goldenhersh was named as a defendant in a civil lawsuit filed by Rockford resident Stephen Martin, who was injured in a 2002 automobile crash on Route 20 near Freeport. Goldenhersh was behind the wheel of a vehicle that allegedly caused an accident involving three cars.

Fellow District Five Appellate Judge James Donovan, owner of and passenger in the vehicle Goldenhersh was driving, had also been named a defendant when the lawsuit was originally filed in 2003, but was later dropped from the suit.

A pre-trial conference is set for mid-July in an attempt to reach a settlement before going to court.

Greg Harris, a Maywood-based personal injury attorney representing Martin, said the accident left his client permanently disabled and unable to work. Harris alleged the 1996 Mercury Grand Marquis driven by Goldenhersh crossed the center line, resulting in the collision.

The driver of the third vehicle, Jodee Fluegel of Lena, filed a similar lawsuit, which has reportedly been settled out of court.

Each lawsuit claims more than $100,000 in damages.

In Martin’s case, Harris filed a motion for sanctions against the defense June 15. Harris claims the defense withheld certain results of a medical exam performed on Martin in May. A second exam has been ordered, and Associate Judge David Jeffrey will rule on Harris’ motion Aug. 7.

Don Mateer, attorney for Goldenhersh, did not respond for comment prior to publication.

In absence of a settlement, Harris said the lawsuit is set for trial Nov. 5 in Stephenson County.

from the July 5-10, 2007, issue

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