The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

June 2, 2013

Settlement should bring closure to families involved


Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — The families of two teens who lost legs in the auger of a Kremlin grain elevator two years ago and the owners of the grain company recently reached an agreement to settle a multi-million dollar lawsuit.

Trial in the matter had scheduled to begin June 17. The terms are confidential.

The lawsuit will not be formally dismissed until a number of procedural matters are finished.

In the lawsuit, the families contended six counts of negligence. In addition to past and future medical expenses, they sought punitive damages from the company.

Court documents show that for Tyler Zander, they sought $4.6 million for future medical bills and expenses related to the accident, up to $56.7 million for lost future earning capacity, and an unspecified amount for pain and suffering.

For his parents, Lee and Rhonda Zander, they sought $1.6 million in medical expenses incurred and $30,000 for lost wages.

For Bryce Gannon, they sought $3.5 million for future medical bills and expenses related to the accident, $234,000 for lost future earning capacity, and an unspecified amount for pain and suffering. For his mother, Cheri Gannon, they sought $794,000 in medical expenses incurred and $10,000 in lost wages.

This story has been difficult for our tight-knit community to deal with. District Judge Dennis Hladik knows both sides involved, and we assume this case put him in a difficult position. The Zaloudeks are a long-respected and well-known family.

While the agreement reached in the negligence lawsuit does not settle all of the legal wrangling taking place, we hope this settlement brings closure to all the families involved.

The most emotionally critical element is related to the two recovering teens.