A house cleaner claims the home construction company president she worked for let go of a ladder she was upon causing her to fall, and trapping and crushing her ankle's bones and cartilage.

Christine Clements of Waterloo, an independent contractor, filed a negligence suit against Avalon Construction Ltd. and its president Maurice Weilbacher in St. Clair County Circuit Court June 29. Her husband, Brian Clements, also is seeking damages for loss of consortium.

According to the complaint, the incident took place Aug. 15, 2005, at a home located at 132 Gladwyn Dr. in Millstadt as Clements was cleaning a large window above the front door.

"When plaintiff indicated that she had no means of reaching the window, Maurice Weilbacher obtained a large ladder, set up the ladder, and instructed the plaintiff that if she climbed the ladder and cleaned the window, he would hold the ladder while she cleaned," the complaint states.

The suit claims cardboard was placed on the floor beneath the ladder to protect the new hardwood floor in the entrance area.

"After plaintiff climbed the ladder and while she was cleaning the window, Maurice Weilbacher let go of the ladder and exited the house," the complaint states.

"Almost immediately after, Maurice Weilbacher let go of the ladder and exited the house, the ladder slid on the cardboard boxes, causing plaintiff and the ladder to fall."

Clement, represented by Eric W. Evans of Roth, Evans & Lading in Granite City, claims she suffered a comminuted distal tibia fracture and has had to undergo four surgeries, suffered knots on her head, lost use of her leg and ankle and was scarred and disfigured.

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