Archive for Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Family of Lecompton man who died in 2009 motorcycle accident files lawsuit against other driver

November 1, 2011


The family of a 21-year-old Lecompton man who died in a 2009 motorcycle accident on the South Lawrence Trafficway is suing the driver of the other vehicle involved in the crash.

The administrator of the estate of Jason P. Kenney is seeking damages in excess of $75,000 and other costs in the case from Karissa A. Pinegar, who was driving a vehicle that struck the motorcycle on which Kenney was a passenger on Nov. 6, 2009, near the Lecompton interchange of the Kansas Turnpike. According to a 2009 obituary, Kenney, who was a carpenter, is survived by a daughter.

According to the suit, which was filed last week in Douglas County District Court, Kenney and driver Matthew Smith were traveling south on the SLT, which is Kansas Highway 10, when the motorcycle was struck by Pinegar’s northbound vehicle. A Kansas Highway Patrol report after the accident said Pinegar, who was 21 at the time and from Lawrence, was trying to turn left into the toll plaza.

Kenney died days later as a result of the accident. Kenney’s attorneys are seeking economic damages due to loss of parental care and earnings Kenney would have provided in lieu of his death, plus expenses for his medical care before he died and reasonable funeral expenses. No hearings had been scheduled in the case as of Monday.


John Hamm 6 years, 6 months ago

Turning left in front of a motorcyclist isn't "an accident" and it's not always about "the money." Automobile drivers don't look, don't think, don't care!

jesse499 6 years, 6 months ago

Yes if it about anything it's about not paying attention and getting someone killed.

Liberty275 6 years, 6 months ago

I wasn't looking. Then all of a sudden while driving south on 59 a motorcycle went between me and the car to my right. I never knew he was there until he passed me. I was going 55 and he had to be doing 75 or so. If I had drifted 12 inches to the right, he'd probably be dead and then you could accuse me.

I have nothing against bikes. I've owned them and enjoyed riding them, but making a blanket accusation that people in cars "don't look, don't think, don't care" is disgusting.

Jeteras 6 years, 6 months ago

yea,, real sure she got up that day wanting to kill someone.. geez

She mustve not had insurance,, usually there are things in policies that cover this??

jhawkfan31 6 years, 6 months ago

She might have had insurance but her liability limits might not have been enough. The motorcycle policy probably had un/underinsured coverage also but again maybe not enough.

5angels 6 years, 6 months ago

Just to educate a little ... I wish people would STOP assuming it's all about the money! It's about a family who lost a loved one, a provider, a father ... Being in a similar situation once upon a time (and thank GOD no one died) ... lawsuits are almost always filed. Insurance does pay for vehicle damages and part of the medical, but without a lawsuit, there is a chance the family who lost their loved one would still "owe" for doctor bills, funeral expenses, etc. AND not to mention, his loss of earnings to care for his daughter! Who cares for her now? It IS in their best interest to have an attorney ... insurance companies are here to make money, and without proper representation the victim can easily lose out. TRUST ME, lawsuits are no piece of cake and the emotional trauma, time, your personal loss of work time to deal with a lawsuit and the time it takes for an insurance company to settle can be exhausting, disheartening and prolongs grieving. I wish the family my condolences, my prayers. WE ALL MUST PAY MORE ATTENTION WHETHER WE ARE ON A MOTORCYCLE, A BICYCLE, A CAR, A PEDESTRIAN ... It takes everyone on the road to be aware of not only OUR driving, but those of others ... GodSpeed ...

bdsmama 6 years, 5 months ago

Ok im just saying, I knew Jason and ya know what, as a good friend to him and someone who knew him personally, the loss of wages for "his daughter" his family suing is ridiculous because he never had "his daughter" she was adopted out the day after she was born. I miss Jason very much and I am very sad that he passed but I agree with everyone who says that this suing after two years is specifically for money. To run all of this through the mill again is horrible the ACCIDENT was two years ago! Why in the world would his family wait so long if it wasn't for money?

Matt Schwartz 6 years, 6 months ago

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Liberty275 6 years, 6 months ago

Is anyone here privy enough to the details to fill in details of the accident, including the conclusions of the officers that investigated the accident?

Also, whoever said "Turning left in front of a motorcyclist isn't "an accident"", do you really think a 21 year old girl wants to cut in front of a motorcycle, possibly maiming or killing another human? The girl is living in her own little hell right now, I'm sure you don't need to make it worse.

Condolences to the victim's family. I hope you can find peace.

Liberty275 6 years, 6 months ago

If you look at the intersection , (38°59'42.09"N - 95°20'37.72"W just to make sure I'm looking at the right place) it looks like half the southbound lane and the northbound turn lane are one and the same. At a point north of the intersection, the southbound lane narrows, and the half that is narrowed out is a collision course with northbound turn lane. The bike may have missed the yellow line that narrows the road and drove head-on into the car (or probably would have tried to dodge it). I imagine that would panic the girl and she may have hit the gas because she didn't know what else to do. Or she might have just screamed.

I'm not saying that happened, I'm just saying your case is not beyond reproach.

I'm sure the cops had a look at the vehicles, skid marks and whatever else they look at and figured it out down to the moment. They will probably be called as expert witnesses and the truth should prevail regardless.

Also, your damages are way off. You can include a comparable life for the children, a BA, and some semblance of what they might inherit. Including a lifetime salary is ludicrous. You don't get paid for dying unless it was done on purpose with malice. $75,000 - low, but sort of close, 1,000,000... No. If you want that, you have to prove she meant to kill them and you can't.

daschie88 6 years, 6 months ago

I was trying to look up the accident report, but it didn't occur within city limits so its not on the LKPD website. From what I understand, though, is that she didn't "pull out in front" of the motorcycle the way the articles make it sound. Also, the articles always say she was "trying" to turn in, she was in the left hand turn lane, not necessarily perpendicular to the motorcycle at the time of collision. I believe the motorcycle driver's leg was actually stuck between the bike the driver's side door, which is what caused him the most injury. Thus, it seems to be a very close call as to who hit who and it happened basically on the yellow line, nearly head to head. Its so easy to blame the driver of the car because the car is larger, but motorcycles are difficult to see in broad daylight, nevertheless in the dark, lights or no lights. Also, the particular intersection the accident occurred in is terrifying. People fly through there at 70 mph because there's no speed limit sign to to tell them not to, regardless of what common sense tells them. Daylight savings time had already ended, so at 5:35 it was nearly dark, if not dark already. As it happens, Karissa was in the left hand turn lane, coming from a complete stop and NOT driving at 70 or 60 or even 20 mph. But how fast was the bike going? Not sure, but I'd assume fairly fast...even 30 mph would be devastating. If she had been texting or otherwise distracted then she would have been issued a citation for inattentive driving and failure to yield.Though it is not listed in the article, I've been told by a reliable source that the driver of the bike didn't have a motorcycle license...again, not verified since I haven't seen the accident report. But taking into account the actions of both parties involved is entirely necessary before pointing fingers and accusing either party. Prayers are with both the family of the driver and family of the deceased and may everything work out fairly in the end.

fan4kufootball 6 years, 6 months ago

I don't know the exact details of the lawsuit but in my opinion it is one thing to sue for damages, loss of wages, etc but it's another thing to sue to become "wealthy" (which is what we see a lot of these days). Not saying this is the case here....just my opinion on all lawsuits.

droppinplates 6 years, 6 months ago

I realize the article says in "excess of $75,000" but that is not even close to suing to become wealthy! And it doesn't matter what the girl's intentions were, she screwed up by turning in front of an oncoming motorist and someone died because of it. They have every right to sue for what they are suing for and she's gotta deal with it regardless of what personal hell she may or may not have been in. She's still alive. The other guy is not.

Rae Hudspeth 6 years, 6 months ago

"In excess of $75,000" is simply the legal terminology that is used for a personal injury filing. The injured party/family has two years to settle, and if the other insurance company/party isn't cooperating, which insurance companies are not wont to do, then a lawsuit must be filed. It's simply the way litigations for accidents are done, and not always the wishes of the injured party. Ignorant people with small minds and large mouths need to calm down. One day it may be them on the other side of this fence.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 6 months ago

thank you for the explanation. I do find many young people do not carry enough liability. Cheap ins. will bite you in the butt.

ModerateOne 6 years, 6 months ago

Of course it is about money. It is about all of the money that the daughter won't receive in her father's support, love, and care.

If you go into a store and break all of the merchandise by accident, you pay for it. Why should driving a car be any different?

You break it you pay for it.

photobuff 6 years, 6 months ago

It is not all about the money. This was a tragic loss for the family who lost their only child. I am sure that it was an accident but the child who is now left without a father to help support him/her deserves to be compensated for the loss of his/her father.

klumsom 6 years, 6 months ago

I have ridden motorcycles for many years, and so far I have made it to 75 years old and am still ridding. I tell anyone that you have to ride like you are invisible. I will guarantee sooner or later someone will turn in front of you.

bd 6 years, 6 months ago

The only winner here is the lawyers!

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 6 months ago

Yes, it's almost for sure a contingency fee based case.

Bassetlover 6 years, 6 months ago

I know the family of the young woman who caused this accident. She is incredibly decent, as are her parents. It was an accident, plain and simple. No texting involved, no putting on her makeup. The majority of us, day in and day out, are on "auto-pilot" when we're driving; we wonder how we got from Point A to Point B without killing someone. The guilt she feels will haunt her every day for the rest of her life. But for the grace of God go each of us every single day when we get behind the wheel. Blessings to BOTH families.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 6 months ago

I used to ride a motorcycle a lot, and I especially enjoyed riding on the dirt, that is, in pastures with no tracks or trails of any kind. There were certainly no cars there, this was before 4 wheeling became popular. Besides, where I rode 4 wheelers would have been at the bare minimum, chased off by the sheriff. If the sheriff didn't chase you off first, a farmer with a gun would be after you!

Motorcycles were just fine with the farmers, provided you did not scare their cattle, which I took pains to avoid doing. Actually? We used to round up cattle using motorcycles, they were much less trouble than doing it with horses, although some ranchers still use them.

And, since all of my street riding was on little traveled dirt roads and highways where just about everyone knew each other, people always took great pains to make sure that they didn't hurt their friend's kids.

From appearances, people here drive automobiles as though they don't personally know the people riding motorcycles. And for good reason - they don't! It's always best to drive your car as though every single motorcyclist is either your neighbor, cousin, niece, nephew, uncle, or aunt.

And about not seeing a motorcycle, that is so very true. The A pillar, that is, the pillar on each side of the windshield of your car, can easily obscure a motorcycle. I once had the horrifying experience of an entire Ford Explorer hiding behind the A pillar of a vehicle I had not driven much. There was no accident, it was not even close, but it easily could have been a fender bender.

Now, I know I have to move my head to prevent that from ever happening again.

I love riding motorcycles, but on busy streets I know I had best never do it, because on a motorcycle I have no fear at all. But from behind the wheel of a car, I certainly do have a terrible fear of hurting or killing someone by simply not paying attention. Passengers in cars, motorcyclists and their passengers, people on bicycles, and pedestrians are all counting on you to take care when you're driving.

Their lives are literally in your hands. Is their trust well placed?

jaywalker 6 years, 6 months ago

Have to see how this plays out and I suspect it boils down to the accident report. With the limited info, I hate to see this type of litigation. Sounds like it was purely an accident, in which case I don't see how this justifies three quarters of a million. Unfortunately, we've become a society where there's always someone to blame and/or sue. Particularly when a life is taken.
If Pinnegar was grossly negligent, perhaps dialing a cell or sending a text or drinking, then I could see some justification. Otherwise, not so much.

jaywalker 6 years, 6 months ago

Brilliant thought process. So let's condemn the girl to poverty for an accident?

It's good to have sympathy for all involved. Still doesn't mean this young lady needs to be saddled with debt for an accident. If the suit was against the insurance company I can understand. But since they're going after the girl, seems the insurer has already ruled on the extent of their liability and that route is now a dead end.

jaywalker 6 years, 6 months ago

Bad things happen to good people every day. Doesn't mean they automatically have a payday coming.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 6 months ago

"the insurer has already ruled on the extent of their liability and that route is now a dead end."

Wrong answer!

If there are more damages awarded than the insurer covers, the next step is the seizure of property and the garnishment of wages. And, that can go on for decades.

That's why it's always a very good idea to carry more liability insurance than your net worth - because you can literally be sued into bankruptcy even if you are a multimillionaire.

That's because the damages awarded by a jury have nothing to do with how much liability insurance you carry.

jaywalker 6 years, 6 months ago

I didn't state the above clearly, Ron. I meant that the insurer themselves were the dead end, not the driver.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 6 months ago

"the wife and child who may be condemned to poverty."?

Yes, for not carrying enough liability insurance. That is a very unwise decision.

Note: not a single bit of the following covers anywhere near a liability of $75,000. So, "condemned to poverty," yes indeed, that could happen, if the driver responsible for the accident did not carry enough required insurance at the time of the accident.

I have felt for many years that the minimum amount of insurance in Kansas is far, far to low.

This is all clipped from: Which is the official Kansas Insurance Department website.

"Kansas law mandates that every automobile insurance policy sold in the state must have these minimum coverages:

Liability coverage $25,000/person for bodily injury $50,000/accident for bodily injury $10,000/accident for property damage Personal injury protection (PIP or No Fault) Minimum amount required by law: $4,500/person for medical expenses $900/month for one year for disability/loss of income $25/day for in-home services $2,000 for funeral, burial or cremation expense $4,500 for rehabilitation expense Survivor Benefits: Disability/loss of income up to $900/month for one year In-home services up to $25/day for one year Uninsured/Underinsured $25,000/person $50,000/accident"

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 6 months ago

Additional coverage is very inexpensive if you have a good driving record. Check with your insurance agent.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 6 months ago

But, there is one way out of a huge judgment, and that is to declare bankruptcy. Debts owed to the federal government, such as back taxes and student loans, are not dischargeable through bankruptcy, but I believe court judgments are.

In that case, your total net worth will be wiped out and divided among your creditors, according to how much you owe each of them.

Then, you can start all over again, and ten years later, your bankruptcy will not appear on your credit record any more.

But, bankruptcy is certainly not a thing to be taken likely. It will make a huge impact on your life for ten years after the case is settled.

bdsmama 6 years, 5 months ago

I feel sorry for both of the families, Jason was a good friend and person but the accident was just that, an accident. Jason and Matt were going too fast on the road without wearing helmets and ms pinegar didn't look both were at fault here. However for the suing, its completely irrational because Jason wasn't married and the baby girl that he contributed in bringing into this world was adopted out the day after she was born which happened to be almost 2 months before the accident-he never signed a birth certificate never did a DNA and she only had his last name for 3 months until the adoption was completely finalized . Jasons family knows this as well. He was for the adoption and so the parental stuff that they are bringing up here is absolutely FALSE. What the family os trying to do is make money from his death instead of looking for closure. The whole thing is wrong and a huge disrespect to the memory of Jason "Stinky" Paul Kenney.

daschie88 6 years, 6 months ago

They shouldn't be suing for lost lifetime wages, but lost wages to cover the support of the child. $1 million is completely unreasonable unless that child needs that much to be supported until its 18.

daschie88 6 years, 6 months ago

Mine sure don't. I'm paying my own way through 4 years of undergrad at KU and nursing school at a private university. Wham, bam, thank you ma'am. Oh, and they weren't married...or even together. Just saying.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 6 months ago

I could name a name because I know the people involved personally, and yes, the family did get one million dollars from the City of Lawrence's insurance company, because the City was entirely responsible for a horrific accident.

I don't know about today, but for years thereafter, the City of Lawrence was not able to purchase liability insurance at all from anyone, because the City's negligence was so obvious.

However, it's possible that the City of Lawrence can purchase liability insurance today, because that event happened many years ago.

jaywalker 6 years, 6 months ago

How exactly is my "logic" wrong? I never said anything about who hit whom, and even you can't come up with anything more concrete than "sounds like." What I did get wrong was the amount; it's only 75k, not 750k. And I'm sorry, but are you suggesting that anytime someone dies from an accident that the other person involved is should be liable for that person's lifetime earnings? And you're questioning my logic?

jaywalker 6 years, 6 months ago

It's worthless to expect anything vaguely rational or reasonably intelligent from you, Gandalf. Epic fail? Seek help.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 6 months ago

I can tell everyone this: I know from personal experience that being in an accident is a horrible nightmare, no matter whose fault it was.

Even if it wasn't your fault you will always wonder, 'Could I have done anything differently?'

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