AmerenIP sued in auto accident

Steve Gonzalez Jan. 11, 2007, 7:22am

The mother of a girl seriously injured when the car she was a passenger in struck a utility pole filed a four-count suit against AmerenIP claiming the utility, not the driver of the car, was negligent.

Represented by former appellate judge Charles Chapman, now employed by the Lakin Law Firm in Wood River, Sandy Dods claims her daughter Molly Carver was injured on March 3, 2006, when the driver of the vehicle struck a utility pole in the 1700 Block of Yellow Hammer Crossing in Edwardsville.

According to the complaint filed in Madison County Circuit Court on Jan. 10, the utility pole broke and the power lines fell on the vehicle.

"The power line attached to the utility pole was a 12,000 volt power line and it was reasonably foreseeable that the line posed a risk of injury if it fell down and remained engaged," the complaint states.

Dods claims AmerenIP, formerly known as Illinois Power, was negligent by:

  • failing to maintain its poles and lines and/or to replace them at appropriate intervals;

  • failing to provide proper and adequate protection devices to de-energize or cut-off power to the power lines attached to the utility pole;

  • failing to appropriately secure and maintain the utility pole to prevent it from breaking and falling to the ground;

  • failing to properly install and maintain the reclosers which govern the power lines attached to the poll; and

  • allowing its downed power line to be back-fed.

    Dods claims her daughter sustained severe and permanent injuries when the power line fell on the vehicle, sustained burn injuries and physical and mental anguish.

    She also claims her daughter's injuries caused pain, suffering and a disability.

    Dods also claims she has been responsible to pay for all the medical expenses including medical, hospital, drug and rehabilitative expenses under the Family Expenses Act.

    She is seeking damages in excess of $200,000.

    The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron.

    07 L 023

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