Personal injury lawsuit over nine-year-old rusty spike injury settled

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Apr 28, 2015

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Vincent Lopinot dismissed a personal injury lawsuit after the parties reached a settlement in a case involving an injury the plaintiff sustained from a rusty spike nine years ago.

The plaintiff filed a motion to voluntarily dismiss on April 14 following the settlement agreement.

According to her Dec. 19 lawsuit, plaintiff Tamara Long alleged she was visiting defendant Laeiad T. Hurless at her home at 1013 Rutledge Drive in Belleville on April 5, 2006, when she and her friend, Joanna Hurless, began to climb a stack of railroad ties on the home’s patio. At the time, Long was 11 years old.

“At the aforesaid time and place, as plaintiff climbed up and down on the stack of railroad ties, a railroad tie shifted and rotated beneath her, thereby exposing a previously concealed rusty railroad spike, which was driven into one of the railroad ties,” the suit stated. “As the railroad tie shifted out from under her the plaintiff fell, landed on the rusty spike and was impaled, with the rusty spike extending from her thigh up toward her pelvis to an undetermined distance.”

As a result, Long claimed she suffered severe and permanent injuries, was hindered from attending to usual duties and lost the value of her time. She also claimed she experienced great pain and anguish.

Long accused Hurless of negligently failing to properly maintain the patio, failing to provide slip guards, failing to warn of a dangerous condition, failing to reasonably inspect her property, allowing the premises to remain in a dangerous condition and allowing the railroad ties to remain loose for an extended period of time.

Attorney Stephen J. Maassen of Hoagland, Fitzgerald and Pranaitis in Alton represented the plaintiff.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 14-L-812

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