Barb Marti files civil lawsuit against Morgan Creek Vineyard, ATV driver

CAMBRIA – A personal injury lawsuit was filed on May 27 against Shawn Patrick Hearn and Morgan Creek Vineyard in Cambria Township, Blue Earth County, by Barbara Marti of New Ulm for injuries she sustained in an ATV accident on Sept. 22, 2012.

According to the case file, during a vendor event on the vineyard property, Marti was riding as a passenger in the back of a John Deere Gator driven by Hearn. Marti was thrown from the vehicle when Hearn was backing up and was then run over by the vehicle. Marti was initially transported to New Ulm Medical Center having sustained severe neck injuries. She was later flown to Hennepin County Medical Center.

Marti is alleging that her injuries were caused by Hearn’s operating the Gator while intoxicated from consuming alcoholic beverages provided by Morgan Creek Vineyards.

Following the accident Hearn was given a breath test at the scene and was found to be over the limit. Hearn says he was sober at the time of the accident and began drinking after the incident.

The lawsuit also alleges that the Vineyard is liable because Hearn was given consent to operate the vehicle. The Gator also displayed specific written instructions on the vehicle warning the operator from carrying passengers.

As a result of the accident Marti cites severe and permanent injuries in mind and body and incurred loss of wages, earning abilities and medical expenses. Marti is seeking a judgement against the defendants in excess of $50,000.

All parties in the suit are prepared to participate in mediation Friday.

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