Ace Hardware blamed for improperly loading customer's concrete

A Belleville woman has filed suit against Hometown Ace Hardware, saying they are to blame for an accident in which she was involved after her rear axle broke. Sylvia O'Neal claims she purchased 20 80-pound bags of concrete from Ace on Aug. 21, 2008. An Ace employee proceeded to load the bags into the back of O'Neal's trailer, according to the complaint filed Aug. 17 in St. Clair County Circuit Court. "Plaintiff was injured in that the improperly loaded trailer caused the rear axle of her vehicle to break resulting in a horrific accident," the suit states. Because of the accident, O'Neal has suffered severe injury and pain, lost wages, lost enjoyment of life, permanent disfigurement and disability, the complaint says. O'Neal claims Ace negligently failed to train its employees in the correct way on how to load a trailer, failed to properly distribute the weight on the trailer and failed to inspect the employee's work to make sure the load was safely distributed. O'Neal is seeking a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs. She will be represented by Jarrod P. Beasley of The Kuehn Law Firm in Belleville. St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-432.

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