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Susan Kiepke
Susan Kiepke

Insurance company sues former state legislator Olson

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news Mitchell, 57301

Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

An insurance company is suing a former state legislator in an attempt to recover nearly $10,000 in medical expenses it paid after a Davison County official was injured during the 2010 Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo Parade in Mitchell.

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In the lawsuit, which was filed Wednesday in Davison County, State Farm Insurance claims 65-year-old Edwin W. Olson, of Mitchell, should pay $9,458.44 in medical expenses the company paid on behalf of Davison County Auditor Susan Kiepke.

On July 17, 2010, Kiepke was sitting on the back of Olson's 1989 Chevrolet Corvette, advertising her bid for re-election, in the Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo Parade, the lawsuit says.

Olson suddenly stepped on the gas at the urging of spectators, which caused the vehicle to lunge forward and Kiepke to tumble off the back and onto the pavement.

Kiepke was taken to the hospital and treated for cracked ribs and other injuries as a result of the incident, according to a July 28, 2010, article in The Daily Republic. No criminal charges were filed in connection with the incident.

State Farm Insurance is accusing Olson of being negligent because he failed to keep his vehicle under proper control and failed to operate it in a "careful and prudent manner," the lawsuit says. Attorney Richard J. Helsper, of Brookings, is representing the insurance company.

Olson, who served 16 years in the Legislature, was in the House from 1987 to 1994 and in the Senate from 2001 to 2008.

Olson has not yet filed a response to the lawsuit.

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