Representing himself in a personal injury lawsuit, Joe Smith of Troy claims he was seriously injured while working as a lineman for Ameren IP and is seeking damages from his former employer as well as A.B. Chance Company, Hubbell Inc. and Howard Industries.

Filed July 15 in Madison County Circuit Court, Smith claims he was he was disconnecting a stinger on July 18, 2003, and while waiting for a "grip all" stick from his foreman, he was hurt when a flash occurred.

Smith claims that the defendants placed the cutout and stinger system into the stream of commerce without insulating connecting wires, and then sold the products to Ameren IP.

According to the complaint, the cutout was manufactured and sold by Chance and the transformer was manufactured and sold by Howard.

Smith claims that the defendants negligently, recklessly and intentionally designed transformers and fuse cutouts which they knew were defective.

“Defendants knew or should have known that Smith’s exposure to its transformer or fuse cutouts would expose him to a risk of electrocution, burns, serious injury or death,” the complaint states.

Smith claims he suffered severe burns, disabling physical injuries, as well as psychological injuries, has spent money for medical care, suffered economic losses, experienced pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish and has been deprived of his ordinary pursuits and enjoyments of life.

Maria Smith also is seeking damages for being deprived of the support, society, care, consortium, companionship and care of her husband and also claims she is required to perform many tasks and functions her husband formerly performed.

The Smiths are seeking a judgment on all seven counts for actual damages in an amount to be determined at trial, punitive damages, costs of the suit, and attorney fees.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian.

05 L 638

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