Tractor trailer turned into vehicle near Poplar Street Bridge, suit claims

Kelly Holleran May 27, 2010, 8:52am

A St. Louis County man claims he sustained severe personal injuries after the driver of a tractor trailer turned into the path of the vehicle in which he rode.

James C. Greene filed a lawsuit May 17 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Twiss Transport and Willie D. Johnson.

Greene claims he rode in a 2001 Nissan Altima Johnson drove west on Interstates 55, 64 and 70 about 0.5 miles west of milepost 1 near the Poplar Street Bridge in East St. Louis on May 24 when Barney James Pospisil, who drove a 2007 Freightliner owned by Twiss, turned into Johnson's path and struck his vehicle.

Because of the collision, Greene sustained injuries, incurred medical costs, experienced pain and suffering and lost his enjoyment for life, according to the complaint.

He blames Twiss, through Pospisil, for negligently failing to maintain control of his vehicle, for failing to drive at a reasonable speed, for driving too fast, for failing to properly maintain the vehicle so the driver could keep proper control of it, for driving the vehicle without sufficient sleep, for driving the vehicle in excess of time limitations, for driving in an improper and careless manner, for disregarding traffic signs and signals and for failing to maintain a proper lookout. In addition, Twiss, through Pospisil, failed to have brakes on its vehicle in proper control, failed to yield the right-of-way and failed to use every precaution to avoid the collision, the suit states.

Pospisil was not qualified to drive a semi-tractor pursuant to Twiss' standards and Twiss did not conduct a reasonable investigation into Pospisil's prior employment and his reasons for leaving his employment, which would have revealed that Pospisil was not qualified to drive for the company, the complaint says.

Johnson was also partially responsible for the collision, Greene claims, because he negligently failed to maintain proper control of his vehicle, failed to drive his vehicle at a reasonable speed, drove too fast, failed to properly maintain his vehicle to allow him to keep control of it, drove in an improper and careless manner, disregarded traffic signs and signals, failed to have properly working brakes, failed to yield the right-of-way to Pospisil's vehicle and failed to use every precaution to avoid the collision.

In his four-count complaint, Greene seeks a judgment of more than $200,000, plus costs.

Steven M. Dioneda of Kullman, Klein and Dioneda in St. Louis will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-243.

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