Jumping dog trial testimony continues

Amelia Flood May 5, 2010, 10:00am


A Granite City woman who claims her neighbor's dog jumped its fence and attacked her and her sister is in the third day of trial in Madison County.

Plaintiff Mildred Aldridge alleges she was left with upper back injuries after the incident that took place Nov. 6, 2005.

Her suit against Donna Eberlin also alleges the alleged attack aggravated her multiple sclerosis symptoms.

But Eberlin testified that actions by Aldridge and her sister, Daisy Welch, caused Aldridge's injuries, not her dog.

The trial opened Monday with a day-long jury selection.

Testimony in the plaintiff's case concluded just before noon Wednesday.

Madison County Chief Judge Ann Callis presides.

Aldridge originally sued Eberlin for negligence and violations of the state's Animal Control Act.

She seeks damages in excess of $50,000 per count.

Eberlin denies her dog injured Aldridge, although she admitted that it had a history of jumping the fence.

Eberlin also filed a third party complaint against Welch, claiming her actions contributed to Aldridge's injuries.

During testimony Wednesday, there were allegations that Welch either collided with her sister during the incident or "tackled" her.

Defense attorney Victor Avellino stressed a hospital visit on Nov. 8, 2005, during which Aldridge did not mention the dog attack. She had gone to the emergency room because her legs had given out on her in her bathroom and she fell, she testified.

Aldridge testified that the dog attack had not been her concern during the Nov. 8 visit.

"I was worried about breaking my hip," she said.

The defense case began Wednesday afternoon with the testimony of two experts, a neurologist and orthopedic surgeon.

Both testified that the trauma Aldridge allegedly suffered would not have impacted her underlying condition and that it was impossible to tell how she suffered a compression fracture in her lower back that was diagnosed after the Nov. 8 hospital visit.

Both doctors pointed to Aldridge's osteoporosis as a factor in the break and in past compression fractures.

Testimony, via video deposition, continued as of 2:45 p.m. Wednesday.
Prior to the plaintiff resting Wednesday afternoon, Callis denied Avellino's motion for directed verdict on both counts against his client.

Aldridge is represented by Michael Bilbrey and J.R. Stever.

Welch represents herself in the third party action.

The case had previously been assigned to Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack.

The case is Madison case number 06-L-860.

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