Ann Maher Apr. 30, 2013, 2:38pm

A defendant in a Madison County wrongful death lawsuit is seeking to transfer the case to Montgomery County - the site of a November tractor trailer accident that claimed the life of an Illinois state trooper.

Dot Foods, who along with its driver Johnny B. Felton are being sued over the incident that killed trooper Kyle Deatherage, argues that the case filed in January has no connection to Madison County.

"The accident occurred in Montgomery County and none of the allegations of fault alleged in plaintiff''s complaint occurred in Madison County," the motion states.

Dot Foods is represented by Donald W. Devitt and James D. Ellman of Chicago.

Sarah Deatherage claims she and her two children have suffered grief, mental anguish and depression after their husband and father was killed during a routine traffic stop on Interstate 55 near Litchfield on Nov. 26.

Kyle Deatherage, who was 32, died immediately when the driven by Felton struck him as he was standing near mile post 62, according to media reports of the accident.

Sarah Deatherage blames Dot for causing her husband’s death, saying the company negligently hired a truck driver who it knew to be a threat to the public.

She also names Felton as a defendant, saying he operated the truck when he knew he was not medically fit to do so. Sarah Deatherage does not specify Felton’s health issues in her complaint.

She seeks a judgment of more than $225,000, plus costs.

Thomas Q.  Keefe Jr. of Keefe and Keefe in Belleville represents Deatherage.

On April 16, Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth granted a petition to intervene filed by the State of Illinois.

The state, represented by Levi C. Bennett, stated in its petition that it has become obligated to pay to survival benefits exceeding $50,000.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-37.

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