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NVDaily

N.Y. driver is seeking $1.5 million in damages

Woman files complaint in Va. court for injuries suffered in 2007 crash

By J.R. Williams -- jrwilliams@nvdaily.com

WINCHESTER -- A New York resident involved in a car crash in 2007 on Interstate 81 at Winchester has filed a lawsuit seeking $1.5 million in damages for her injuries.

Jessica Knowles, of Central Marichesny, N.Y., names Caroline E. Furnari, of Lovettsville, and trucking company Crete Carrier Corp. as defendants. A Crete tractor-trailer driver, referred to only as "John Doe," also is named as a defendant.

The complaint was filed Aug. 17 in U.S. District Court in Harrisonburg -- a day before Virginia's two-year statue of limitations on personal injury litigation would have expired. The crash occurred just after midnight Aug. 18, 2007.

According to the complaint, Knowles was standing outside her car on the shoulder of southbound Interstate 81, just south of the Winchester exit at U.S. 17-50-522. It alleges a Crete tractor-trailer traveling in the left lane abruptly changed lanes, forcing Furnari's car to leave the highway.

Funari, "who was traveling in the right-hand lane, veered off the roadway without warning, causing her vehicle to strike the plaintiff and pin the plaintiff to her vehicle, causing serious injuries," the complaint states.

The complaint does not mention a Crete tractor-trailer as part of the crash. An accident report was not available from state police Wednesday.

Tom Sundvold, part of Crete's in-house legal team at its headquarters in Lincoln, Neb., said the company is denying any liability in the case.

"We weren't in the area," he said. "We don't have any involvement. They may have just come up with a logo."

Christie A. Leary, an attorney representing Knowles at Fairfax-based Greenspun, Shapiro, Davis & Leary, declined to explain how the trucking company came to be named in the suit.

"We're still in the beginning stages of all this, and still gathering information ourselves," she said. "It's Interstate 81. It's a very busy interstate, and this was a very serious accident."

She said her firm was handed the case recently from attorneys in New York, and that the defendants have not yet been served with the lawsuit.

"Once that occurs, the courts will kick in their deadlines," she said.

Knowles is seeking $1.5 million in total damages from the defendants named in the case.

"The plaintiff was caused to sustain serious and permanent injuries, was prevented from transacting her business, lost wages, has suffered and will continue to suffer great pain of body and mind, and has incurred and will incur in the future, hospital and physician related bills in an effort to be cured of said injuries," the complaint states.




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