Dram suit filed against deputy coroner

Steve Gonzalez Sep. 26, 2006, 6:19am

St. Clair County Deputy Coroner Ace Hart was named in a Dram Shop suit filed by April Guth in Madison County Circuit Court Sept. 20.

Guth claims that on Sept. 24, 2005, she was peacefully conducting herself at Ace's Neighborhood Inn, a bar and restaurant in Caseyville.

According to the complaint, co-defendant Kevin Hutchings began to pull Guth's hair and punch her with his fists on her head, neck, back and shoulders.

Guth claims Hutchings negligently and carelessly waved his arms and hands causing them to strike her and failed to control his bodily movements to prevent them from making contact with other people.

She claims Ace's sold Hutchings alcoholic beverages causing him to become intoxicated which led to Hutchings causing physical injuries to her.

Guth also claims Ace's failed to properly monitor the activities of its patrons, especially loud, boisterous or unusual activity, failed to prevent unusual activity before it escalated into an altercation, failed to stop an altercation once it started and failed to provide sufficient security on its premises.

According to the complaint, Guth sustained severe bodily injuries to her head, back, chest, back, shoulders, neck and arms, and she suffered and emotional and psychological injuries, all of which caused her to lose wages and spend money for emotional and psychological treatment.

Represented by W. Michael Gnavi of Collinsville, Guth is seeking damages in excess of $150,000, plus costs.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Daniel Stack.

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