Ann Maher Jul. 29, 2016, 1:00pm


Ameren Illinois denies negligence in a woman's suit claiming a power pole collapsed on her vehicle while she was operating it in Vandalia last year.

Vicky L. Morris sued the power company as well as J.F. Electric in Madison County Circuit Court in May, alleging their negligence led to the collapse of a power pole that hit her vehicle while she was driving on Veterans Avenue.

Represented by Matthew Champlin and Kevin Birkenmeier of HeplerBroom in Edwardsville, Ameren responded to the suit on July 13, saying that while it admits maintaining power poles on Veterans Avenue, the plaintiff's claimed injuries were caused in whole or in part by her negligence.

"Plaintiff's recovery is barred in whole or in part," the lawyers wrote.

Co-defendant J.F. Electric, represented by Mark Osland of St. Louis, responded to the complaint on July 7, saying in a motion to dismiss that Morris has failed to allege facts showing that it owned or installed the utility pole in question.

According to the complaint, on June 7, 2015, while Morris was operating her Ford pickup truck on Veterans Avenue in Vandalia, a power pole collapsed and struck her vehicle, causing her to sustain severe and permanent injuries to her muscles, tendons, ligaments, soft tissues and bones. The plaintiff holds the defendants responsible because they allegedly failed to maintain their utility poles in a safe and upright position, failed to inspect and replace utility poles and failed to conduct periodic inspection.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks judgment against the defendants in a sum in excess of $50,000, costs of this suit and such other and further relief that the court may deem just and proper. She is represented by John K. Kujawski of Kujawski Marcus LLC in O'Fallon.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 16L744

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