Suit against Highland homeowners over guest's fall into oil pit settles

Amelia Flood Apr. 8, 2010, 7:00am


A man who fell into an oil pit at a Highland couple's home has settled his case a few days before a Madison County jury was to decide it.

The amount of the Jan. 15 settlement between plaintiff Stephen Szychowski and James and Eileen Smith was not disclosed. Each party was to bear their own costs.

Szychowski alleged that while attending a party at the Smiths' Highland home, he fell into a partially concealed oil pit in August 2007. He claimed he hurt his right leg, knee and ankle in the fall.

His suit alleged that the Smiths negligently allowed a dangerous condition to develop on their property and that they failed to warn him about it.

The suit sought damages in excess of $50,000 and costs. The case was set for trial on Monday.

Sychowski was represented by James Gorman of Edwardsville.

The Smiths were represented by Jane Unsell.

The case was assigned to Madison County Circuit Judge David Hylla.

The case is Madison case number 09-L-228.

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