Law license doesn't qualify Pizza Hut plaintiff as hydraulics expert, justices rule

Steve Korris Feb. 3, 2011, 10:44am


MOUNT VERNON – Amanda Verett's law license doesn't qualify her as an expert on hydraulic hinges, Fifth District appellate judges have decided.

They affirmed Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth, who ruled Verett couldn't prove that a door at Pizza Hut in Troy injured her shoulder.

"The statements in Verett's affidavit concerning her experience with hydraulic hinges lack a proper foundation," Justice Stephen Spomer wrote in December.

"Verett's testimony is inadmissible because Verett, an attorney, has no related experience with doors and hydraulic hinges and cites no credible scientific theories on which she relies in forming her opinion," he wrote.

Spomer, Presiding Justice Melissa Chapman and Justice Bruce Stewart also affirmed Ruth in clearing Troy police officer Clarence Jackson of Verett's brutality claim.

She alleged he jerked the door while she held it.

Spomer wrote that she admitted he never touched her.

He wrote that Jackson qualified for immunity as a government employee because he was keeping the peace at the scene of a disturbance.

He wrote that a dispatcher sent Jackson to Pizza Hut to assist in a dispute among Verett, her partner and restaurant managers.

Andrew Miller and Jennifer Kunze of Hinsdale represented Pizza Hut.

Kevin Blaine of Alton represented Jackson.

Thomas Maag of Edwardsville represented Verett.

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