Gueldener was injured on Holiday Shores Lake on July 4, 2005.

The son of a longtime Madison County employee who became paralyzed after jumping off a boat in shallow water filed a personal injury suit against Dennis and Luke Dorris of Worden in Madison County Circuit Court July 2, alleging the boat owners were negligent.

Jared Gueldener claims during the late evening of July 3 and early hours of July 4, 2005, he was on a pontoon boat owned by the Dorris' on the waters of Holiday Shores Lake.

Gueldener's suit was the 600th civil suit filed in Madison County's "L" docket which are cases that seek damages in excess of $50,000.

His mother Kay Gueldener is a long time employee of Madison County working in Mark Von Nida's office.

Gueldener claims the Dorris' knowingly permitted unsupervised minors, including himself to board the boat at its mooring at or near their home on Sextant Drive in Worden.

According to the suit, it was the Dorris' duties to exercise ordinary care in the operation and control of their boat as not to cause injury to the passengers.

Gueldener claims the Dorris' breached that duty by negligently and carelessly:

  • failing to warn him not to dive or jump off of the boat;

  • parking or mooring the boat in too shallow of water to allow for safe diving;

  • failing to warn passengers to the dangers of the waterways;

  • operating the boat while impaired from the consumption of alcohol; and

  • failing to provide a competent crew or master of the vessel as well as properly equipping the vessel with lighting and other safety equipment.

    Gueldener claims unaware of the shallow depth of the water he dove off the side of the boat striking the bottom of the lake crushing his cervical spine, rendering him unconscious and causing quadriplegic paralysis.

    He claims his injuries caused and will continue to cause great pain and mental anguish, disability, loss of a normal life, medical expenses, lost wages and property damage.

    Represented by Steve Selby of Smith, Mendenhall & Selby in Alton, Gueldener is seeking damages in excess of $50,000.

    The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Dan Stack.

    07 L 600

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