Christina Stueve Hodges Aug. 21, 2013, 2:23pm

Ameren Illinois Company is requesting St. Clair County Circuit Judge Vincent Lopinot to dismiss a St. Clair County woman’s case against the company for allegedly causing her to fall and sustain severe injuries.

Robbin Madden claims she was participating in a pre-apprentice lineman program at East St. Louis Community College in June of 2012 when she was instructed to free climb without a safety harness. She then fell to the ground from a height of about 12 feet, according to the complaint filed June 28 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Ameren Illinois Company filed a motion to dismiss and compel arbitration Aug. 15 through their attorney Matthew Champlin of Edwardsville.

Ameren argues Madden’s complaint is subject to dismissal, since she agreed to arbitrate any matter arising from her participation in the training program.

“Plaintiff’s claim is subject to dismissal, however, as she agreed to arbitrate any matter arising from her participation in the training program. Plaintiff signed a “waiver/release, certification of insurance and indemnification agreement,” the motion to dismiss stated.

Ameren’s attorney also included a section of the release allegedly signed by Madden, stating she agreed “any dispute and/or legal action arising out of this agreement and/or concerning my participation in the electrical lineman training must be resolved by binding arbitration through the American Arbitration Association in Belleville, Ill.”

According to the lawsuit, Madden suffered serious injuries to her right ankle, left knee and back; incurred medical costs; suffered pain and discomfort; and lost income and her normal life, the suit states.

Madden blames Ameren Illinois Company for causing her injuries. The company was in charge of running the program and should have known that climbing without appropriate gear could be dangerous. Madden also says the power company failed to instruct her on safe climbing procedures, instructed her to climb without the appropriate gear and failed to provide her with a safe place to work.

She seeks more than $50,000.

She is represented by Joseph R. Hillebrand of Brown and Crouppen in St. Louis.

Defense attorney Matthew Champlin is employed by HeplerBroom in Edwardsville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-330.

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