Attorney having trouble locating defendants in car wreck case

By Steve Korris | Aug 18, 2006

POINT PLEASANT – James Jeffrey Martin of Eskdale sued three people over an auto accident, but his attorney cannot identify one defendant and cannot find another.

Martin filed suit in Mason County circuit court in February, claiming that Codi Davis of Syracuse, Ohio, Kimberly Smith of Eskdale and "John or Jane Doe" caused an accident that injured him.

The accident happened in 2004. Martin's attorney, Troy Giatras of Charleston, filed the suit a day before the two year statute of limitations would have run out.

In June, Giatras informed Circuit Judge David Nibert that he had not served the suit on Smith.

Giatras told Nibert a private investigator did not find Smith at her last known address. He told Nibert that neighbors said Smith went away.

Nibert extended the deadline for service of Smith to Aug. 11.

As of Aug. 16, the court had received no notice of service.

The only defendant who accepted service of the suit, Codi Davis, has argued that Martin shares the blame for any injuries he suffered.

Martin wore no safety belt, attorney William Shrewsbury of Charleston wrote for Davis in a June 27 brief.

Shrewsbury wrote, "Plaintiff's failure to wear a safety belt was either a proximate cause or the proximate cause of plaintiff's injury."

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