Hylla transfers personal injury case against Dollar General to arbitration docket

Steve Gonzalez Dec. 4, 2008, 3:50am

Judge Hylla

Jeff Reel

Madison County Circuit Judge David Hylla has transferred a personal injury suit filed in the Law Division to the mandatory arbitration docket after discovery showed the damages in the case did not exceed $50,000.

Hylla entered the order transferring the case Nov. 17.

The plaintiff, Barbara Coburn, filed the suit Nov. 22, 2006, alleging she was injured 65 days earlier at the Alton Dollar General.

Coburn claims Dollar General was negligent and careless by leaving a shopping cart in the aisle when she was shopping on Sept. 17, 2006.

In addition, Coburn claims Dollar General failed to warn those in close proximity that the cart was in the aisle hidden by clothes.

She claims when she fell over the metal shopping cart she sustained injuries to her right knee, right hip, and lower back, which caused and continues to cause pain and suffering, medical expenses, loss of wages and disability.

Coburn is represented by Wood River attorney Lance Mallon.

Dollar General argues Coburn was not injured to the extent she has alleged.

Jeffrey Reel of Hinshaw & Culbertson in Belleville represents Dollar General.

Dollar General also argues that Coburn was at fault to such a degree as to preclude any right of recovery because the shopping cart was in an open and obvious condition.

On Oct. 8, Mallon notified Hylla that Coburn passed away and sought to appoint Bobby Coburn as special administrator of her estate. Hylla granted the motion on Oct. 14.

The case is now assigned to Associate Judge Ralph Mendelsohn. He has yet to set a hearing date for mandatory arbitration.

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