Ann Maher Jul. 21, 2014, 1:10pm

A driver being sued by a woman who had been handcuffed in the backseat of an Alton police car says the plaintiff's own negligence was the sole, proximate cause of her alleged injuries.

Alisha D. Burke sued Mark Robinson in Madison County Circuit Court in May, claiming he struck the vehicle in which she was sitting, thereby severely and permanently injuring her.

Burke says she was riding in a 2013 Ford Taurus, which was being operated by Alton Police officer Stephen W. January, on Sept. 9. January stopped at the intersection of Pearl and Silver streets in Alton when Robinson, who was driving a 2005 Ford 500 on Pearl Street, collided with January’s vehicle.

She blames Robinson for causing the collision, saying he negligently failed to keep his vehicle under proper control, failed to observe the vehicle she was in, failed to keep a proper lookout for other vehicles, drove into January’s stopped vehicle and failed to drive entirely within his own lane.

Robinson is represented by Michael P. Murphy of Belleville.

"Without waiving his denial of liability to plaintiff, defendant states that the alleged injuries of which plaintiff complains, if any, were not directly or proximately caused by any act or omission of defendant, but were the result of independent, intervening causes over which defendant had no control and which were not known to or reasonably foreseeable by defendant," Murphy wrote in answer to the suit on July 10.

He also wrote that Burke's contributory fault was more than 50 percent of the cause of her alleged injury, which would bar recovery pursuant to state statute.

Burke is seeking a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs. She is being represented by Stephen C. Buser of the Law Office of Stephen C. Buser in Columbia.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 14-L-681.

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