Trucker's wife claims husband electrocuted in suit

Steve Gonzalez Aug. 15, 2006, 8:39am

The widow of a man electrocuted when his tractor trailer made contact with power lines filed a four-count civil lawsuit against Ameren IP, Freightliner Corp., Mac Trailer Manufacturing and W.M. Trailer Sales.

Kelly Schulte claims David Schulte was making a salt delivery to Deland Water Works on Dec. 30, 2004, when his truck made contact with the lines.

In a suit filed Aug. 4 in St. Clair County Circuit Court, Schulte claims Ameren IP negligently and carelessly placed its power lines in a location that it knew or should have known presented a hazard to persons making a delivery to the Water Works plant.

Schulte, represented by Bruce Cook of Belleville, is seeking in excess of $200,000.

She also claims Ameren IP failed to warn David of the presence of the high power lines and failed to properly maintain its power lines and reclosers.

Schulte claims W.M. Trailer Sales was the seller of the 2004 Mac dump trailer David was pulling and Mac Trailer Manufacturing are liable because at the time of the sale the dump trailer was defective and unreasonably dangerous. The dump trailer inadvertently touched a power line and conducted electricity to the tractor, the suit claims.

Schulte also claims Freightliner, the manufacturer of the 1999 Tractor David was operating, is liable because the tractor was defectively designed in that it would conduct electricity when a trailer touched a power line.

She claims due to David's death, she has been deprived of his society, companionship, support, love and affection he would have provided.

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