Altercation over school bus driver's paramour leads to suit

Kelly Holleran Aug. 15, 2012, 1:53pm


A man claims his co-worker attacked him, causing him to sustain a torn rotator cuff during the brawl.

Gary Spiller filed a lawsuit Aug. 6 in Madison County Circuit Court against Ronald Cochran and First Student.

In his complaint, Spiller alleges Cochran attacked him on Aug. 8, 2011. Both worked as school bus drivers for First Student.

Cochran allegedly attacked Spiller after Spiller turned down the advances of a female employee over whom Cochran had been obsessing, according to the complaint.

"Prior to the battery, Ronald Cochran and another female employed by First Student had an intimate relationship and Cochran had become infatuated with the female employee," the suit states. "In order to appease and placate his paramour, Cochran determined to punish plaintiff Spiller by battering him forcefully."

Because of the incident, Spiller endured a surgery to treat his torn rotator cuff, lost wages and his earning capacity, experienced pain and suffering, incurred medical costs and suffered from a temporary disability, the complaint says.

In addition to Cochran, Spiller names First Student as a defendant, saying it negligently failed to warn Spiller of a threat to his safety, failed to notify his union of the threat to his safety, failed to further investigate a threat Cochran had made and failed to warn Cochran he would be terminated if he engaged in an act of violence.

In his complaint, Spiller is seeking a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

Roy C. Dripps of Armbruster, Dripps, Winterscheidt and Blotevogel in Alton will be representing him.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-1223.

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