Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Flagger files lawsuit against Chad Stuart

Plea agreement delayed for former pop rock star

Express Staff Writer


A construction zone flagger, who claims Hailey resident Chad Stuart struck her with a vehicle he was driving, has filed a civil lawsuit against the former British pop rock star.

Barbara Chandler, of Twin Falls, is seeking at least $10,000 in damages from Stuart and Hailey residents John and Julia Shelly, who the lawsuit claims were negligent for letting Stuart drive their car, a 1995 Pontiac Bonneville.

The lawsuit stems from an incident on Nov. 28, 2005, at a construction zone along state Highway 75 some five miles north of Ketchum. According to a Blaine County Sheriff's Office report, Stuart allegedly ignored a construction zone stop sign, struck Chandler with the Pontiac and left the scene of the accident.

Felony charges of aggravated battery and leaving the scene of an injury accident were initially filed against Stuart. The aggravated battery charge was later dismissed.

In August, Stuart agreed in a plea bargain arrangement with the Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney's Office to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of failure to give immediate notice of an accident. In exchange, prosecutors would drop the more serious charge of leaving the scene of an injury accident.

Stuart was scheduled to enter his guilty plea at a court hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 5. However, the hearing was postponed at the request of Stuart's attorney, Doug Nelson, after Nelson became aware of the Chandler lawsuit.

"We've learned that a civil lawsuit has just been filed, and we want to review it before we enter a plea," Nelson told the court. Stuart's change of plea hearing is now set for Sept. 18.

Stuart, 65, achieved fame in the 1960s along with Jeremy Clyde as the singing pop rock duo Chad & Jeremy. The English duo produced nearly a dozen record albums in the mid-to-late 60s.

Chad & Jeremy have teamed up in more recent times to perform benefit concerts.

Nelson, of the Roark Law Firm in Hailey, told the Idaho Mountain Express that neither he nor Stuart had yet been served with the lawsuit.

"I knew it was coming," he said.

The lawsuit seeks at least $10,000 in damages, and asks that the actual amount be determined in a jury trial.

Chandler alleges the incident caused "injuries to her body which necessitated medical attention, mental and physical pain and suffering, loss of sleep, loss of enjoyment of life, and an inability to carry out all daily functions."

Chandler is represented by Keith E. Hutchinson, of Hutchinson and Brown in Twin Falls.

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