Hosie Burgess of Alton filed suit against Granite City attorney Thomas Hildebrand alleging he failed to attend a mandatory hearing in his workers' compensation case.

In the suit filed Sept. 23 in Madison County Circuit Court, Burgess also names the Alton law firm of Coppinger, Carter, Schrempf & Blaine in his complaint.

According to the complaint, Burgess hired Hildebrand in December 2000, after he discharged Matthew Kelly of Coppinger, Carter, Schrempf & Blaine who orignally filed his claim on July 12, 2000.

“Hildebrand has a duty to use all due care in his handling of plaintiff’s Workers’ Compensation case, including the filing of a substitution of attorney or entry of appearance form and representation agreement with the Illinois Industrial Commission, and to appear at each hearing in which plaintiff’s case was red-lined or properly continue the case so the case would not be dismissed at the Alton docket hearing on Sept. 23, 2003,” the complaint states.

Last week, an Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission attorney has asked The Record for its report on the case of criminal convict Wiley Yates vs. criminal defense attorney Thomas Hildebrand.

In a Sept. 28 hearing before Madison County Circuit Judge George Moran, Yates implied that Hildebrand represented him and another client with adverse interests.

The commission has disciplined Hildebrand, who was a Madison County associate judge from 1980 to 1985, twice for representing clients with adverse interests and for other misconduct.

Burgess claims Hildebrand failed to file a substitution of attorney form, entry of appearance form or a representation agreement with the IIC, failed to attend or properly continue the Sept. 23, 2003, hearing, failed to file a motion to reinstate the dismissed case within 60 days and failed to inform him the case was dismissed until September of 2005.

Burgess claims that his case has been dismissed and thereby foreclosing his chance of ever pursuing benefits to which he was entitled under the workers’ compensation laws for the state of Illinois.

According to Burgess, he has lost substantial sums of money owed to him as a result of his claim for temporary total disability benefits, incurred medical bills and expenses, and sustained permanent disability.

Represented by Rhonda Fiss of Belleville, Burgess is seeking damages in excess of $30,000, plus all costs of the suit.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian.

Reporter Steve Korris contributed to this article.

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