Raging Rivers wants injury case transferred to Jersey County

Steve Gonzalez Aug. 14, 2008, 8:39am

Raging Rivers

Raging Rivers Water Park wants Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder to transfer a personal injury case to Jersey County.

The amusement park argues a lawsuit filed by a mother and her child who sustained face, mouth, gum and teeth injuries at the Grafton water park two years ago was improperly filed in Madison County.

Wendy V. Kerr filed the lawsuit on behalf of her minor son who allegedly sustained injuries on the Space Bowl ride.

In addition to Raging Rivers, Kerr is seeking damages from Space Bowl's designer Strurart-Leisure Ltd., alleging the British firm "failed to construct the amusement ride in such a manner as to avoid teeth from catching on seams or lips of the surface of the ride while patrons traversed the base of the ride."

Kerr's son, Gage A. Kerr, was injured in 2006, according to the complaint filed June 13 in Madison County Circuit Court. The exact date is not named in the complaint.

Represented by Thomas G. Maag of Wendler Law in Edwardsville, Kerr is seeking in excess of $200,000 in damages plus costs.

She claims Raging Rivers failed to prevent patrons from becoming ensnared within the water slide which rendered the ride unreasonably dangerous.

On July 31, Raging Rivers filed their motion to transfer the case arguing that they are located in Jersey County.

Russell Watters of Brown & James in St. Louis represents Raging Rivers.

Raging Rivers argues that Gage Kerr was allegedly injured on the premises of the water park, therefore the transaction for which her cause of action arises occurred in Jersey County.

Raging Rivers also argues that co-defendant Strurart-Leisure, which is based in England does not maintain or do business in Madison County, nor are they a resident of Illinois.

According to Raging Rivers, the meaning of the phrase "doing business" for the purposes of corporate residency under the general venue statute was discussed in Boxdorfer v. DaimlerChrysler.

"The Boxdorfer opinion exemplifies that under the circumstances of this case, Raging Rivers is not 'doing business' in Madison County for the purposes of Illinois' venue statute," the motion states.

The motion continues, "Because no defendant is a resident of Madison County, Illinois, and the transaction out of which this lawsuit arises did not occur in Madison County, Illinois, venue in Madison County, Illinois is inappropriate."

Raging Rivers asks that Crowder grant their motion to transfer for improper venue and instruct the clerk to certify and transmit the original documents to the clerk of Jersey County.

Crowder set a hearing for 9 a.m. on Oct. 2.

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