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Civil trial begins for men accused of negligence in car wreck

By BY GHENI PLATENBURG - GPLATENBURG@VICAD.COM
Sept. 12, 2011 at 4:12 a.m.


A Victoria woman has sued two Yoakum men over injuries sustained in a July 2009 wreck.

The trial set to begin 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Rhonda Sue Mallette, 43, filed a civil lawsuit against Ivan Escalante and Jesus Valasquez in district court.

Mallette claimed she suffered severe personal injuries after being in a collision with a vehicle operated by Escalante and owned and insured by Valasquez.

The defendants, who are represented by attorney Jeff B. Frey, denied the allegations and requested a jury trial.

The lawsuit contends Escalante was negligent due to his lack of a driver's license, his driver inattention as well as his failure to keep a proper lookout for plaintiff's safety, failure to drive in a single lane, failure to give half of roadway and turning when unsafe .

Valasquez is accused of negligence because he entrusted his vehicle to a Escalante, who is described as reckless incompetent driver.

At the time of the collision, Escalante worked for Valasquez, according to the lawsuit.

Mallette, who is being represented by attorney William L. Sciba III, is seeking damages in excess of $75,000 and court costs.

District Judge Kemper Stephen Williams will preside over the case.

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