Matoesian sets aside default order in case against First Student

Ann Knef Aug. 22, 2011, 11:00am

Madison County Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian has set aside a default judgment order in a case against First Student, Inc. and William Tarrant.

Kristie Monigan of Alton filed suit in June claiming she was terrorized at work and feared returning to her job duties after a male coworker allegedly sexually harassed her.

Monigan's attorney, Gregory Roosevelt of Edwardsville, had moved for default judgment on Aug. 5, which was granted the same day by Matoesian.

The motion for default judgment stated that First Student was appropriately served on July 5, but it had failed to file any responsive pleading.

Matoesian's Aug. 12 order setting aside default judgment order indicated that the defendant had changed registered agents and service was being attempted on a new registered agent.

In her complaint, Monigan, a school bus driver, claims Tarrant -- a fellow bus driver -- began sexually harassing her on Feb. 22, 2010, when he told her that she would look good naked wearing only four-inch heels.

Following the remarks, Monigan complained to her supervisors, but saw no disciplinary action taken against Tarrant, according to the complaint. Again, she approached her supervisors, saying the company had expressly stated a zero-tolerance policy against sexual harassment, but had done nothing to punish Tarrant, the suit states. Still, Tarrant faced no repercussions, the complaint says.

After Monigan's complaints to supervisors, she claims she began to notice Tarrant glaring at her. Soon, the situation got worse, according to the complaint.

"On March 25, 2010, the Plaintiff was on her school bus in the parking lot of the bus depot facility when William Tarrant approached the bus stepping up into the bus area trapping the Plaintiff on the bus and not allowing her to pass or exit the bus," the suit states. "William Tarrant then forcibly grabbed the Plaintiff holding her while the Plaintiff struggled, resisted and yelled at him to let her go."

In her four-count complaint, Monigan alleges sexual harassment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, battery and negligent retention against the defendants.

She seeks a judgment of more than $200,000, plus punitive damages.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-615.

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