Four-year-old's brush with treadmill leads to suit against babysitter

Steve Gonzalez Mar. 18, 2008, 6:30pm

Four-year-old Connor Neal sustained severe injuries on his babysitter's treadmill last year, and now the boy's mother claims he has been "hindered and prevented" from attending to his "usual duties and affairs."

Kathleen Neal, Connor's mother, filed a personal injury suit in Madison County Circuit Court March 13 against Sherry and Jerry Harrington of Granite City. Neal claims the Harringtons failed to warn her son of the dangerous propensities of the treadmill in the couple's basement.

According to the complaint, Connor Neal on March 13, 2006, accessed a fully operational electric treadmill that pinned him to the wall, causing burns and lacerations to his skin.

Neal claims the treadmill was a dangerous condition that the Harringtons negligently failed to remedy when they knew that her son would be visiting their home and knew or should have known the treadmill posed greater risks than young children could comprehend and avoid.

She claims Connor sustained internal and external injuries that are permanent in nature that caused him to suffer great pain and anguish, both in mind and body.

Neal also is seeking damages under the Family Expense Act alleging she has become liable for large sums of money in medical expenses in order to cure and heal Connor of his injuries.

Represented by William Mateyka and Kenneth Beljanski of Granite City, Neal is seeking damages in excess of $150,000, plus costs.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder.

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