Wrongful death suit filed against company hosting golf outing

Kelly Holleran Oct. 1, 2008, 12:20pm

Lisa Boerm has filed a wrongful death suit on behalf of her mother against Towers Fire Apparatus Co., alleging her mother died after the vehicle she was riding in collided with a vehicle one of the company's employees was driving while intoxicated.

Judith M. Ohren was riding east on Highway 177 near Radio Range Road in a car driven by Gary D. Ohren on Sept. 30, 2006, according to a complaint filed Sept. 30 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Myron L. Schanuel was driving west on the same highway, crossed into the eastbound lane and struck the car Ohren was riding in, killing her, the suit states.

Before the crash, Schanuel had been drinking as part of his job as sales manager for Towers, Ohren claims.

Schanuel had participated in a golf tournament sponsored by Towers earlier in the day, where alcoholic beverages were served, then traveled to the Blue Room Tavern in New Minden, where he continued to drink alcoholic beverages and entertain clients as part of his duties, according to the complaint.

Towers was negligent because it purchased and provided an unlimited amount of alcoholic beverages to Schanuel when it knew he may drive home, failed to provide Schanuel transportation and failed to prevent Schanuel from driving away from the tournament when it knew he was impaired, the suit states.

Boerm claims Ohren's next-of-kin have suffered great losses, including the loss of her companionship and society.

In the two-count suit, Boerm is seeking a judgment in excess of $150,000, plus suit costs.

She is represented by Timothy Stubblefield of Bement & Stubblefield in Belleville.

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