Medina County Courthouse

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Wadsworth Woman Wins Civil Jury Trial

On Thursday, February 10, 2011, a civil jury in Judge Kimbler's courtroom returned a verdict of $95,000.00 in favor of Heidi A. Sonntag of Wadsworth. Prior to trial, the defendants had offered Ms. Sonntag a total of $5,000.00 to settle the case.

The lawsuit arose from a car accident that took place on September 25,2004, when a Dodge Intrepid that Ms. Sonntag was driving was hit from the rear by a Ford 350 pickup truck driven by Eric Raw, also of Wadsworth. There was no dispute over whether Mr. Raw's truck came into contact with Ms. Sonntag's Dodge Intrepid. The issue was whether Mr. Raw's truck hit Ms. Sonntag's car or was pushed into Ms. Sontag's car when a vehicle driven by Ronnie W. Nipuelio, also a Wadsworth resident, struck Mr. Raw's truck from behind in a second collision.

The lawsuit originally involved three defendants: Mr. Raw, Mr. Nipuelio and Westfield Insurance Company. Westfield was named as a defendant because its insurance policy covering Ms. Sonntag's Dodge contained an underinsured motorist provision. Prior to trial, however, Mr. Nipuelio's insurance company reached a settlement with Ms. Sonntag, resulting in his dismissal from the lawsuit.

The jury determined that Mr. Raw's vehicle caused the collision with Ms. Sonntag's vehicle. The verdict will be paid by Mr. Raw's insurance company since he had liability limits under his policy of $100,000.00. Mr. Raw's insurance company will receive a credit for the $12,500.00 paid by Mr. Nipuelio's insurance carrier.

Originally Ms. Sonntag filed her lawsuit in September of 2006. That lawsuit was dismissed in 2008 and she then refiled her lawsuit on May 15, 2009.

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