Ceiling tile chunk strikes boy in bathtub, mom sues landlord

Kelly Holleran Dec. 15, 2008, 3:45am

A St. Clair County woman has filed suit against Imagine Investments individually and on behalf of her minor son, alleging her son was seriously injured while he was taking a bath after a section of the ceiling fell on his head and face.

Jerel Bellmon, Jr., was taking a bath in apartment "B" of 221 Anderson Lane in Shiloh, which Imagine Investments owned, on Aug. 19, 2007, at about 8 p.m. when the incident occurred, according to a complaint his mother, Vanessa Helm, filed Dec. 8 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

The ceiling in the bathroom above the tub had sustained severe damage that caused the tiles to deteriorate and become loose, unsecured and unstable, the suit states.

In fact, Imagine Investments was aware of a water leak in the second floor apartment above apartment "B," but failed to disclose the condition, Helm claims.

Because of the falling tile, Bellmon sustained great pain, mental anguish and post traumatic stress syndrome and incurred medical expenses, according to the complaint.

Imagine Investments breached its duty to Helm and Bellmon by failing to perform an adequate inspection of the premises, by failing to repair the subject ceiling after knowing the leak created a dangerous condition and by failing to warn Helm and Bellmon about the dangerous condition, the suit states.

In the two-count suit, Bellmon and Helm are seeking a judgment in excess of $100,000.

Brian T. Kreisler of Becker, Paulson, Hoerner and Thompson will be representing them.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 08-L-623.

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