Store wall collapse injured customer, suit claims

Ann Knef Apr. 3, 2007, 5:00am

A customer injured after a tornado ripped through a Fairview Heights store last year is seeking in excess of $525,000 in a lawsuit filed in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Douglas Young claims Big Red LLC, K & G Men's Co., the city of Fairview Heights, architect Robert L. Boland, structural engineer Leonard Weintraub, building owner William Koman and Bank of Belleville are negligent.

According to the suit filed March 29, Young suffered fractured ribs, had fluid on his left lung, broke his left leg, tore ligaments in both knees and was severely cut and gashed when a wall collapsed at K & G Men's Co. located at 10865 Lincoln Trail Dr. The incident took place on April 2, 2006, and resulted in the death of another customer, Dale Hoffman.

Young is represented by Carmen S. Durso of Belleville.

He claims the building was constructed of single wide cinder blocks without rebar posing hazardous conditions for patrons.

The suit claims Fairview Heights failed to inspect the property to discover it was in a hazardous condition.

Bank of Belleville is named as a defendant as owner/trustee of the property.

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