The estate of one of the victims in the Pella Walmart crash is suing the Walmart Corporation and the driver of the vehicle that slammed through the front of the store last December.
According to court records, Kristine Kohrs is the executor of the Lindsey Rietveld estate, and through an attorney filed a civil suit in Marion County District Court today against Walmart, Dennis Mockenhaupt, Transystems Corporation, and BRR Architecture.
Lindsey Rietveld died as a result of blunt force trauma after she was hit by the Ford F-150 driven by Mockenhaupt, who was unconscious at the time, according to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation’s final report.
The lawsuit claims Walmart and those in charge of designing the store were negligent in providing proper safety barriers. The document claims the bollards placed during the store’s construction were decorative in nature and spaced too far apart. It also says the design of the parking lot contributed to the speed the truck was able to gain before making impact.
The suit also alleges that Mockenhaupt negligently operated his vehicle. The document filed by Attorney Jeffery Lipman states Mockenhaupt choked on coffee as he turned into the Pella Walmart parking lot. Marion County Attorney Ed Bull says he does not face any criminal charges, because Bull says Mockenhaupt did not intentionally or recklessly cause the crash to happen.
The Rietveld estate is seeking monetary and punitive damage from the companies listed in the lawsuit.
A total of seven counts were submitted by the Rietveld Estate. The plaintiff also requested a trial by jury.