Kelly Holleran Mar. 18, 2013, 9:35am

An Illinois man has filed suit against Ameren Illinois, alleging he incurred damages after his vehicle struck a utility pole that had fallen in the middle of the road.

Johnny R. Harness filed a lawsuit Feb. 14 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

In his complaint, Harness alleges he was driving his truck south on Illinois Route 4 about one-quarter of a mile north of the road’s intersection with New Athens-Darmstadt Road in St. Clair County on Jan. 17, 2012, when he struck a utility pole that had collapsed over the road.

Because of the collision, Harness experienced pain and suffering, lost his normal life and incurred medical costs, according to the complaint.

Harness blames Ameren for causing his injuries, saying it negligently failed to install its utility poles in a safe manner, failed to timely replace a defective utility pole, failed to properly operate its wooden pole, failed to timely inspect its wooden pole and failed to properly tilt its utility poles so that they would not collapse into the road.

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

Alan G. Pirtle of Becker, Paulson, Hoerner and Thompson in Belleville will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-86.

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