Texas pair hurt in construction zone collision
By: Alan Scher Zagier
A Texas couple injured in an August 2010 chain-reaction collision on Interstate 35 received a $350,000 settlement from the driver who struck their car from behind, their attorney said
Plaintiffs Brian and Rachel LeBansky were traveling home to Austin, Texas, from a family wedding in Wisconsin when, they alleged, a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck struck their car. John R. Osmundson, of Stillwell, Kan., was driving the pickup.
The interstate was under construction at the time, plaintiffs’ attorney Mark Murphy explained, and traffic had stopped.
The LeBansky car thus slowed to a stop near the the Missouri 92 exit in Kearney, but Osmundson, driving behind them, didn’t stop in time, Murphy said. The collision pushed the couple’s car across I-35 into the highway’s northbound lane, where the Mercury Mariner driven by Brian LeBansky hit a third car. A passenger in that car later died from her injuries.
Brian LeBansky suffered multiple injuries, including a torn spleen, broken foot and leg bones, cuts to his knee, head and wrist, and arm injuries. Rachel LeBansky, who was asleep in the back seat, had a broken sternum, lacerated liver and other injuries.
In December, the couple sued Osmundson as well as Ideker Inc. The St. Joseph-based construction company was working as a general contractor on the interstate improvement project, which had reduced the four-lane divided highway into a two-lane, undivided route.
The Clay County suit alleged negligence by Osmundson and breach of duty by the construction company, as well as loss of consortium claims. Ideker was later dismissed from the suit, and the Texas couple settled a claim with Osmundson’s insurance company. Murphy provided the settlement amount, which is not listed in court records.
Osmundson pleaded guilty in September 2010 to a misdemeanor charge of careless and imprudent driving and paid a $78.50 fine. His civil defense attorney, Bryan Groh, did not respond to an interview request regarding the settlement.
¦ Motor vehicle collision
¦ Venue: Clay County Circuit Court
¦ Case Number/Date: 11CY-CV14077/April 13, 2012
¦ Judge: Anthony Rex Gabbert
¦ Special Damages: For Brian LeBansky: $89,895 in medical expenses, $12,083 in lost wages; for Rachel LeBansky: $22,684 in medical expenses, $9,614 in lost wages
¦ Insurer: Continental Western Group
¦ Caption: Brian and Rachel LeBansky v. John R. Osmundson
¦ Plaintiffs’ Attorney: Mark J. Murphy, The Murphy Law Firm, Liberty
¦ Defendant’s Attorney: Bryan M. Groh, Evans & Dixon, Kansas City