2005: Top reads at Record online

By Steve Gonzalez | Dec 23, 2005

The following were the most well-read reports on the Record's website (www.madisonrecord.com or stclairrecord.com) in 2005:

#1: FELA case in Federal Court: (11/21/05) 671,865 readers
A former trackman for BNSF Railway filed a Federal Employee Liability Act suit in federal court Nov. 10 alleging it failed to provide him a reasonably safe place to work.

Carl Anderson claims that from 1971 until 2005 he was subjected to numerous repetitive trauma while repairing BNSF's railroad tracks.

He claims the railroad failed to provide safe methods of work, sufficient manpower and safe tools and equipment.

According to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court for Southern Illinois, Anderson sustained severe and permanent injuries to his back, spine, wrists, knees, arms and body which cause him to suffer great pain and mental anguish, diminishing his earning capacity.

Represented by Gregory Tobin of East Alton, Anderson is seeking damages in excess of $75,000, plus costs of the suit.

The case has been assigned to District Judge Michael Reagan.

#2: Passenger files suit against boat driver: (4/8/05) 201,404 readers
Cathy Paisley filed a personal injury suit against Brad Maher in Madison County Circuit Court April 7 seeking to collect at least $50,000 in damages from injuries she sustained in a boating accident

Paisley claims that she was a passenger in Maher's "cigarette" style speed boat which was being driven too fast in a no wake zone while the waters were in a dangerous condition causing her to fall and receive serious and permanent injuries.

#3: Alton attorney accidentally sues himself: (3/11/05) 197,826 readers:
Alton attorney Emert Wyss thought he could make money in a Madison County class action lawsuit, but he accidentally sued himself instead. Now he has four law firms after his money - and he hired all four.

Wyss's boomerang litigation started in 2002, when he invited Carmelita McLaughlin to his office at 1600 Washington St. in Alton. Acting as her attorney when she bought a home in Alton and when she refinanced it, on both occasions she had chosen Centerre Title--a company that Wyss owned--to close her loans.

In the course of the attorney-client relationship, Wyss advised McLaughlin she might have a claim against Alliance Mortgage, holder of the first mortgage. Wyss believed Alliance Mortgage might have broken the law by charging a $60 fax fee when she refinanced.

#4: Lessons of Emert Wyss (Our View): (3/20/05) 156,451 readers:
If it were a basketball game, the story of the Madison County trial lawyer who got so creative he accidentally sued himself would already be on ESPN's Classic Sports. Even deep in America's "Judicial Hellhole," it's the stuff of legends.

It's nice to cheer when courtroom bullies get a taste of their own medicine. But Emert Wyss' quandary is about more than a feeling. It's about lawyers behaving badly on a shameless search for profit-making plaintiffs.

Wyss' case-detailed by Record reporter Steve Korris-- opens a rare window on a world where ordinary Metro East people are recruited and used to extract millions of dollars in "hush money" settlements from our nation's largest corporations.

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