Motorcyclist wipes out in safety program, sues sponsor

Steve Gonzalez Apr. 5, 2005, 4:44am

Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville

While learning how to become a safe motorcyclist in Southwestern Illinois College's Motorcycle Rider Program, Maria Collins took a left turn around a cone, hit a pothole and wiped out.

Now Collins is suing SWIC for more than $100,000 in Clair County Circuit Court claiming the college failed to safely maintain its premises.

Collins alleges that a large pothole caused "the motorcycle to bounce and slide out from under her, coming to rest on her left leg causing serious and disabling injuries." The incident occurred April 4, 2004.

She also claims SWIC had actual knowledge of the safety hazards, such as potholes and loose gravel, but ignored them.

“The conduct of the defendant showed complete indifference to a conscious disregard for the safety of Collins and others and was therefore willful and wanton,” the complaint states.

Collins claims as a result of the incident, she sustained serious, permanent, progressive and disabling injuries to her left leg, ankle and foot, including a fracture of her left ankle which required medical, surgical, diagnostic, therapeutic and nursing care and treatment.

Her suit seeks damages for severe pain and discomfort, permanent scarring and disfigurement, mental and emotional fear, anguish, frustration, anxiety and depression. Collins also claims she was temporarily totally disabled and has "permanently partially lost the ability to work and enjoy the ordinary pursuits of life."

Collins is represented by John Simon and Dawn Mefford of Simon Passanante of St. Louis.

05 L 211 (20th Circuit)

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