Plaintiff seeks $300k for damaged psyche and body

By Steve Gonzalez | Jul 21, 2005

Railroad Crossing on the Chain of Rocks Road

A man whose psyche, neck, back and head were damaged in an auto accident is suing the other driver for causing it and Alton and Southern Railway for bumps, uneven pavement and confusing red warning lights at a railroad crossing.

Seeking in excess of $300,000 for himself and daughter, Mathew Donithan filed suit in Madison County Circuit Court July 11 against Daniel Roller and the railroad.

His suit claims that Roller collided with him on July 11, 2003, on the Chain of Rocks Road near a railroad crossing in Granite City. Roller made a U-turn in front of Donithan's car near the railroad tracks and the cars crashed. While attempting to avoid the accident, Donithan was further injured from the "uneven pavement and large bumps" on the tracks, he claims.

According to the complaint, Roller failed to keep a proper lookout, drove too fast for conditions, attempted to make an illegal U-turn and failed to yield the right of way.

Donithan also claims that the poor condition of the A&S grade crossing made it difficult for vehicles to drive over the track at the speed limit.

He also claims that the red warning lights at the crossing would flash at various times even if trains were not approaching, "confusing drivers on whether or not a train was actually traveling on the tracks."

According to the complaint, A&S failed to maintain its grade crossing in a safe condition, allowed warning lights to flash when no trains were approaching and allowed large bumps and uneven pavement at the crossing.

Donithan is represented by Michael Brunton of Collinsville. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge George Moran, Jr.

05 L 627

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