Dismissal sought in couple's assault suit against apartment owners, manager

Steve Gonzalez Jan. 4, 2006, 5:34pm

John and Lucille Kleeman, owners of the Biltmore Apartments in South Roxana, will attempt to dismiss a case filed against them by an East Alton couple who allege they were assaulted by the apartment's property manager.

Property manager Noren Twente also will have his motion to dismiss heard by Madison County Circuit Judge George Moran on Jan. 12.

Michael and Lisa Denny filed suit Nov. 1, 2005, seeking damages in excess of $150,000 for an alleged assault on Sept. 25, 2004. The Dennys claim that Twente and his guests assaulted them after Twente placed a call requesting they come to speak with him.

Michael Denny claims he suffered severe and permanent injuries to his head, left elbow, hands, abdomen, chest and left leg which caused him to suffer pain, discomfort, mental anguish. Lisa Denny alleges similar injuries.

The Dennys also allege that they were disfigured and disabled, lost earnings and benefits, became liable for medical expenses and have been restricted in their usual activities and affairs.

They allege that Twente participated in a scheme to convince them to visit the apartments for the sole purpose of injuring them. The Dennys also claim that Twente participated in the assault and battery, and failed to aid them or call police.

According to the complaint, the Dennys are also seeking damages against property owners John and Lucille Kleeman, alleging that they knew or should have known that Twente was unfit to serve as property manager since he created a danger of harm to third persons.

The suit alleges that the Kleemans failed to supervise Twente, failed to investigate his background prior to hiring him and continued to retain Twente even after they knew of his violent propensities.

The Dennys are represented by Lindsay Rakers of Goldenberg, Miller, Heller and Antognoli of Edwardsville.

Gregory Skinner of Belleville will represent Twente and Jane Unsell of East Alton will represent the Kleemans.

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