Trial involving personal injury case against Wood River continued

Christina Stueve Jan. 9, 2012, 7:00am


A personal injury trial scheduled to begin Monday in Madison County Circuit Judge Andreas Matoesian's court has instead been ordered to a case management conference on the next available docket.

The case involves a Madison County woman and her husband who filed suit against Wood River Township, alleging the woman tripped on a piece of protruding pipe from a sidewalk in front of the township hall.

Debra Freeman claims she was attending a social event on March 10 when the incident occurred as she was leaving.

Because of her fall, Debra Freeman allegedly suffered injuries to her right arm, leg and left foot; suffered pain of her body and mind; incurred medical bills; and lost money, she claims.

According to a motion to continue filed Nov. 22 by defense attorney Christine McClimans, Freeman was to be receiving medical care this month, which "may or may not have a bearing on the trial."

McClimans requested the trial be held in April or May.

The Freemans blame Wood River for the incident and for failing to warn Debra Freeman of the pipe's presence. They are seeking more than $50,000.

In their defense, Wood River Township claims that municipalities are not required to keep their sidewalks in perfect condition. Slight irregularities in level and "minor de minimis defects are not actionable," according to the defense' answer to the plaintiff's complaint.

The defense also countered that the condition on which plaintiff Debra Freeman allegedly tripped was open and obvious.

J. Robert Edmonds of Mormino, Velloff, Edmonds and Snider in Alton represent Debra Freeman and her husband Gary.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-4.

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