Helping Hands driver took off before passenger was inside vehicle, suit claims

Kelly Holleran Dec. 29, 2009, 4:14am

A woman has filed suit against a St. Clair County company, alleging a driver for the corporation negligently drove off before the woman was securely inside the vehicle.

Stephanie Scales claims defendant Helping Hands was supposed to provide her transportation to her workplace at Willow Creek Rehabilitation Center from Memorial Hospital in Belleville on Nov. 6.

"On November 6, 2009, the Plaintiff, Stephanie Scales, was attempting to get into the vehicle driven by an employee, agent, and/or servant of Defendant, Helping Hands, when the driver negligently drove off the vehicle before Plaintiff was inside the vehicle, causing her to be struck by the vehicle and sustain severe injuries," the suit filed Dec. 22 in St. Clair County Circuit Court states.

Because of the incident, Scales was made sick, sore, lame, disordered and disabled; received back, neck and chest injuries; and received injuries to the soft tissues of her cervical and shoulder areas, according to the complaint. In addition, she incurred medical costs, suffered disability, experienced pain and suffering and lost wages, the complaint says.

In the two-count suit, Scales is seeking a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs. She is also asking the court to identify all people responsible for the incident to produce evidence.

Thomas C. Rich and Jennifer L. Barbieri will be representing her.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-681.

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