Truck driver claims his employer is liable for his actions in interstate accident

Kelly Holleran Oct. 21, 2010, 2:28am

A man filed suit Oct. 12 against his own employer and against the driver who he blames for causing an accident.

James Hill filed a lawsuit in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Lewis Kollenberg and Hartwig Transit.

As Hill drove a vehicle west on Interstate 55/70 near milepost 3 in East St. Louis on May 24, Kollenberg, who drove in the same direction, struck him, according to the complaint.

Because of the accident, Hill suffered severe and permanent injuries, became hindered and prevented from attending to his usual duties and suffered great pain and anguish, the suit states.

Hill blames Kollenberg for causing the accident, saying he negligently failed to stop or swerve to avoid a collision, drove without keeping his vehicle under sufficient control, drove too fast, drove without keeping an adequate lookout and failed to stop or yield the right-of-way to Hill.

In addition to Kollenberg, Hill names his own employer, Hartwig Transit, as a defendant, saying he worked for Hartwig at the time of the collision.

"Defendant Hartwig Transit had the right of control over the vehicle which was entrusted to James Hill," the suit states. "That under the doctrine of respondeat superior, Hartwig Transit was liable for James Hill's actions stated in this cause of action."

In his complaint, Hill seeks a judgment of more than $100,000, plus costs.

Kenneth B. Beljanski of Brown and Brown in Fairview Heights will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-535.

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