A Montana judge’s summary judgement ruling has led to a $26 million insurance settlement in a quadriplegic man’s lawsuit against the North American Mission Board stemming from a 2009 auto accident.
Jeremy Vangsnes, who was 21 at the time of the July 2009 accident, was traveling with two of his brothers, Dan, then 24, and Ryan, 19, in an SUV driven by Scott Minear, 20.
The rollover crash, which left Jeremy Vangsnes paralyzed and with a brain injury, occurred on Interstate 90 near Belgrade, Mont.
The four men were based at Yellowstone National Park as part of a 10-week summer resort missions program of the North American Mission Board. The accident, at around 3:30 p.m. on July 21, 2009, occurred during a side trip to Glacier National Park for the Vangsneses to visit with an aunt, uncle and cousins.
The summary judgment ruling was issued by Judge Mike Salvagni of the 18th Judicial District for Gallatin County in Bozeman. The Associated Press on July 14 reported the ruling, which was filed on June 18.
In that ruling, the court found that it had been conclusively established that the driver of the SUV “was acting within the course and scope of his agency with NAMB at the time of the accident which caused Jeremy Vangsnes’ injuries” and that, therefore, NAMB could be held vicariously liable for the acts of the driver.
According to the personal injury law firm Maya Murphy, P.C., representing the Vangsneses, the settlement will allow the family “to hire 24-hour skilled nursing care for Jeremy Vangsnes and to buy a house that is more handicapped-accessible.”
Jeremy Vangsnes’ brothers and Scott Minear were hospitalized after the accident with various injuries and were continuing their recovery, according to a Baptist Press news report on Aug. 20, 2009.
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SOURCE: Baptist Press