CHARLESTON – A man is seeking more than $25,000 after his vehicle sustained damage in a hit-and-run accident earlier this year in a Charleston hotel parking lot.

Lawrence Burdette II claims Gelco Corporation, which is based in Eden Prairie, Minn., is responsible for the accident that occurred on May 8, 2005, at the Embassy Suites in downtown Charleston.

The suit, filed Dec. 6 by Lawrence Burdette of the Burdette Law Offices in Talcott, claims an unknown driver in a vehicle owned by Gelco hit his vehicle in the hotel parking lot, causing damage to the driver's side door.

At least one employee of the hotel witnessed the incident, the suit claims, and that employee wrote the license tag number and make and model of the car – Chrysler Pacifica – as it left the scene.

Burdette reported the incident to the Charleston Police Department, which investigated and determined the identity of the vehicle that left the scene.

In the suit, Burdette claims Gelco is guilty of negligent, careless, reckless and criminal conduct and that he is entitled to compensatory and punitive damages.

He seeks damages to repair the damage done to his vehicle. In addition, he seeks $25,000 in damages for aggravation, inconvenience and annoyance, loss of work time, loss of personal time and expenses required to locate the defendant.

He also seeks punitive damages for "egregious conduct in committing the crime" as well as other costs, fees and expenses.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey Walker.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 05-C-2666

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