Helping Hands sued by injured van passenger

Kelly Holleran Feb. 17, 2009, 7:30am

A woman has filed suit against Helping Hands Medical Service Car and one of its drivers, alleging she was injured after she fell face-first from her wheelchair while riding in the vehicle.

Barbara Schultz claims she was riding on the Helping Hands Medical Service Car on Feb. 4, 2008, when it was unable to stop at a stop light at an intersection, causing Schultz to fall face first out of her wheelchair.

Sonya Smith was driving the medical service car when the incident occurred, according to the complaint filed Feb. 3 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Because of the incident, Schultz suffered personal injuries to her left leg, right knee and low back and experienced great pain and mental anguish, according to the complaint.

She also suffered disability and loss of a normal life and incurred medical expenses, the suit states.

Helping Hands Medical Service Car was negligent through its employees and Smith was negligent by failing to keep the car under proper control, by failing to make a proper stop at a red light, by failing to have proper seat belts or gait belts for its passengers to use and by driving the medical service car without safe and adequate brakes, Schultz alleges.

In the four-count suit, Schultz is seeking a judgment in excess of $200,000, plus costs.

She is represented by Michael P. Glisson of Williamson, Webster, Falb and Glisson in Alton.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-0092.

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