Architecture company fights complaint of negligent design

Christina Stueve Hodges Aug. 8, 2012, 11:37am


Defendant FGM Architects claims an Edwardsville woman was negligent when she failed to keep a lookout for snow and ice while walking around a building on the SIUE campus on Feb. 2, 2011.

Joy Tedford of Edwardsville filed suit June 25 in Madison County Court against FGM Architects-Engineers Inc. and Williams Brothers Construction Inc.

Tedford claims the two companies negligently designed a roof on the SIUE campus where she is employed. She claims she was walking around a building on campus when a sheet of ice fell from the glass roof, striking her neck and causing injury.

She is seeking an amount in excess of $50,000.

FGM Architects filed an answer to the lawsuit on Aug. 3.

FGM Architects claims the lawsuit is barred by a state law, since its design work was completed no later than 2000, and more than 10 years have elapsed since the alleged incident.

FGM also claims the plaintiff failed to protect herself from injury and is entitled to no recovery in that she was more than 50 percent at fault for her injuries; or the plaintiff's damages must be diminished in proportion to the amount of fault attributable to the plaintiff.

FGM also stated that it reserves the right to assert other affirmative defenses as discovery and investigation continue, according to court documents.

The company also is seeking to dismiss the complaint with prejudice at the plaintiff's cost.

Defendant Williams Brothers Construction on July 31 filed a motion for extension of time to plead. The company claims it has not had adequate time to prepare a responsive pleading, addressing the merits of the plaintiff's complaint, and seeks an additional 30 days to file a responsive pleading.

James R. Williams of Williams, Caponi & Foley in Belleville represents the plaintiff.

Steven M. Cockriel and Philip Christofferson of St. Louis represent FGM Architects.

William Knapp of Knapp, Ohl & Green represents Williams Brothers Construction.

The case is assigned to Madison County Circuit Judge Andreas Matoesian.

The case is Madison County number 12-L-893

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