Defendants remove personal injury suit to federal court

Steve Gonzalez Dec. 19, 2005, 4:00am

O'Reilly Auto Parts

O'Reilly Auto Parts and air compressor manufacturer, Wilmar Corp., have removed a Madison County personal injury suit to federal court, claiming diversity of citizenship. Wilmar is based in Washington and O'Reilly in Missouri.

"Plaintiff incorrectly alleges that O'Reilly is an Illinois corporation," the removal notice states.

Wilmar also claims that the case may be removed from state court because the matter in controversy exceeds $75,000.

In the Dec. 9 notice, defendant Wilmar also claims that plaintiff Robert Earon is the only one responsible for the back and hand injuries alleged in the Oct. 19 lawsuit.

Earon is seeking in excess of $75,000, claiming threads on a spring compressor were stripped and could contain pressure. On May 20, he claims a Wilmar spring compressor purchased from O'Reilly failed, causing him to be injured.

According to the complaint, the compressor was unreasonably dangerous because the threads on the rod were defectively designed.

Earon claims he suffered serious, painful and permanent injuries, mental anguish, disability and disfigurement, became liable for medical expenses and has lost wages.

In Willmar's affirmative defenses to all counts of Earon's suit it states, "Plaintiff failed to exercise the degree of care to protect himself from injury required of an individual in plaintiff's position and knowledge. He is therefore guilty of contributory negligence."

Wilmar states Earon should have known the dangers associated with the product and therefore assumed risk of injury when he used the product.

"The product in question has been subjected to misuse or failure to properly maintain the product on the part of the plaintiff."

Wilmar is represented by Roger Wilson of St. Louis.

Earon is represented by Thomas Keefe.

The case has been assigned to District Judge David Herndon.


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