Heather Isringhausen Gvillo Sep. 25, 2013, 9:49am

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Vincent Lopinot ordered a motion hearing on Ameren Illinois Co.’s motion to dismiss/compel arbitration in a case involving a woman who blames the defendant for allegedly causing her to fall and sustain injuries.

The motion hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Oct. 1. Lopinot also scheduled a case management conference for  a.m. Nov. 12.

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

Ameren attorney Matthew Champlin filed the motion to dismiss and compel arbitration on Aug. 15, arguing that Madden’s complaint is subject to dismissal because she agreed to arbitrate any matter arising from her participation in the training program through the American Arbitration Association in Belleville.

“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 ‘waiter/release, certification of insurance and indemnification agreement,’” the motion stated.

Madden asserts in her suit that Ameren, which was in charge of running the program, should have known that climbing without appropriate gear could be dangerous.

She also claims 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.

Madden's suit seeks a judgment of more than $50,000.

Joseph R. Hillebrand of Brown and Crouppen in St. Louis represents Madden.

Matthew B. Champlin of HeplerBroom LLC in Edwardsville represent Ameren.

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

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