Ruth continues trial after plaintiff's lawyer experiences death in family

Christina Stueve Oct. 11, 2011, 11:30am


Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth has continued a personal injury trial that was set to begin today.

According to Ruth's bailiff Scott Davis, the case was postponed over the weekend, after the plaintiff's attorney, Roy C. Dripps, had a sudden death in his family. His father suffered a stroke and passed away on Sunday, Davis said.

Dripps is representing Shannon L. Blair in a case against National Maintenance & Repair, Inc.

Blair claims his right arm was mangled when a large metal ball attached to a crane fell on his arm while he was working on a barge. Blair had worked at a shipyard on the Upper Mississippi River in Hartford.

The complaint says the barge, named BB-1, was an uninspected vessel.

Blair spent more than 25 percent of his time on the barge or other vessels owned by National Maintenance and Repair, the complaint states.

As a result of his injuries, Blair expects to experience pain and mental suffering in the future, as well as to incur medical expenses in the future.

The complaint says the barge was not seaworthy. The crane operator allegedly was not properly trained, and the crane was not properly inspected. The crane also had a propensity to permit the ball to drop when it was configured in the manner it was set up on July 20, 2009, Blair contends.

Dripps is with the firm Armbruster, Dripps, Winterscheidt & Blotevogel, LLC, in Alton.

The case is expected to be tried in November.

Madison County Case number:10-L-52.

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