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Circuit Court roundup: settlement in Nightingale lawsuit


December 19, 2018

A lawsuit over the wrongful death of truck driver Neil Nightingale was dismissed Oct. 15 following a settlement out of court among the parties.

The case had been scheduled to go to trial beginning Dec. 31.

Nightingale died from injuries sustained in a crash Jan. 21, 2016 on Highway 20 near Bauman Mill between Sweet Home and Lebanon when a Papé Machinery truck driven by Robert Mayfield crossed the center line and crashed head-on into the truck driven by Nightingale.

The Nightingale Estate, represented by his widow Tamera Nightingale, filed a wrongful death suit, seeking $13 million, against Papé Machinery and Mayfield on Feb. 7, 2017.

“The parties have executed a settlement agreement in this matter,” Nightingale attorney Brent Barton said in a letter to Linn County Circuit Court Judge Fay Stetz-Waters.

The amount of the settlement was sealed as part of a separate case creating an estate for the purpose of receiving funds from the settlement. Funds from the settlement were deposited in a settlement trust.

James Lee Baker

James Lee Baker, 19, was sentenced Nov. 5 in Linn County Circuit Court to 10 days in jail and 18 months probation for second-degree burglary.

He was fined $200. He had pleaded no contest to a charge of second-degree burglary.

As part of a plea agreement, dismissed were two counts of third-degree theft, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, unlawful entry into a motor vehicle and first-degree failure to appear.

Baker was arrested June 21 in connection to a burglary and theft of cigarettes from Safeway, 1540 Main St. He was located by an officer on routine patrol who had observed a passenger matching a description of the suspect in the burglary.

The pickup had been reported stolen, and the driver, Matthew Everett Wood, was sentenced to 30 months in prison in connection to the theft of the vehicle.

Since then, Baker has been arrested and charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and attempting to elude a police officer in a Dec. 13 case in the Lebanon area.


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