The following were the most well-read reports on the Record's website (www.madisonrecord.com or stclairrecord.com) in 2007:

#1: Woman opens door for man at Pizza Hut, then sues both, by Steve Gonzalez...March 8...63,132 readers

A woman who was injured while holding open the door for customers at the Edwardsville Pizza Hut filed a personal injury suit against the restaurant and the man to whom she extended the courtesy.

Amanda Verett claims she was walking out the door of Pizza Hut on Feb. 12, when she held open the door to allow herself and co-defendant Clarence Jackson to exit.

"Jackson grabbed the door in such a fashion that it caused the door to suddenly and sharply move," the complaint written by Edwardsville attorney Tom Maag states.

Verett claims she was injured as a result of the sudden and sharp movement of the door.

She claims Jackson violated his duty to use ordinary care for the safety of others when he operated the Pizza Hut door which caused her to sustain an acromion process impingement in her right shoulder.

Verett claims due to the injury she suffered at Pizza Hut, she was unable to avoid falling on a later date and tore tendons and suffered injuries to her left hand and wrist, including a partial tear of the pronator quadratus muscle at the dorsum.

#2: Byron awards $311,700 to Pizza Hut door victim, By Steve Gonzalez...May 16...31,947 readers

Madison County Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron awarded Amanda Verett a $311,700 default judgment for injuries she allegedly received while holding a Pizza Hut door open for a Troy police officer.

Verett's attorney, Tom Maag of Edwardsville, filed the motion for default judgment alleging Jackson was served on March 8, and failed to answer the complaint in 30 days as allowed by Illinois law.

In her affidavit in support of the default judgment, Verett states that after Jackson grabbed the door she felt a pain in her right shoulder.

Verett also claimed she will require two additional surgeries and has already incurred $22,000 in medical expenses and believes the two additional surgeries will cost $57,000.

Verett also stated she is unable to drive any great distance without extreme pain. She does not think she will be able to drive until sometime in June.

"My shoulder is always hurting," Verett wrote. "I am in agony because of the injury that Mr. Clarence Jackson inflicted upon me."

She adds, "The pain is expected to continue for several months into the future."

Verett also claimed she has lost at least $11,000 in income she would have earned as well clients and had to refer to other lawyers.

Matthew Verett, Amanda's husband, also filed an affidavit in support of the default judgment.

He claimed the day the incident occurred, Amanda came home in "great pain and discomfort."

"This was not a simple minor bruise," Mr. Verett wrote.

#3: Man exiting bar with beer bottle sues for tripping. By Ann Knef...April 11...21,440 readers

A man injured by his beer bottle after tripping out of an Alton tavern last year is seeking more than $200,000 for neck, face and chest injuries.

Matthew Shewmake filed suit against Norb's Tavern in Madison County Circuit Court April 4.

He claims that as he was leaving the premises at 2505 State St. on April 8, 2006, he tripped over a toejam at the exit, causing him to fall onto and fracture the beer bottle he was carrying. He was exiting the tavern with a bottle of beer to consume on the parking lot area, the complaint states.

"Plaintiff was pitched forward out the door upon exiting and was unable to catch himself as the outside walkway was a steep ramp without rails which defendant knew or should have known was a dangerous condition for patrons leaving the premises who may stumble and be unable to stop or catch their fall," the complaint states.

Shewmake is represented by Rod Pitts of Wood River.

He claims it was the defendants' duty to exercise ordinary care and caution in an about the management of the premises and to keep the entrances and exits in a reasonably safe condition.

#4: Pizza Hut plaintiff wants $50k in default judgment, By Steve Gonzalez...May 2...20,841 readers

Edwardsville attorney Amanda Verett wants a judge to enter a default judgment in excess of $50,000 against a man she opened the door for at Pizza Hut because he failed to answer her lawsuit within 30 days.

She claims Jackson violated his duty to use ordinary care for the safety of others when he operated the Pizza Hut door which caused her to sustain an acromion process impingement in her right shoulder.

Verett claims that due to the injury she suffered at Pizza Hut, she was unable to avoid falling on a later date and tore tendons and suffered injuries to her left hand and wrist, including a partial tear of the pronator quadratus muscle at the dorsum.

She claims her injuries caused her to suffer a disfigurement, severe pain and discomfort and medical expenses.

Verett claims Pizza Hut was negligent by maintaining a door for ingress and egress which was not reasonably safe and was likely to injure people when being held open and grabbed by another.

On April 5, Pizza Hut's attorney Andrew Miller filed an answer claiming Verett was more than 50 percent responsible for her alleged injuries which bars any recovery on her part.

#5 Photographer sues church for slip on water, By Steve Gonzalez...Aug. 15...16,222 readers

An Olan Mills photographer filed a personal injury suit against St. Paul Lutheran Church in Hamel alleging he slipped on water that was in the lobby while taking photographs on Aug. 6, 2005.

Danny Gravitt claims the church failed in its duty to maintain the church building and the area surrounding it in a reasonably safe condition so as not to negligently cause injury to people.

According to the suit filed Aug. 6 in Madison County Circuit Court, St. Paul's negligently constructed and maintained its lobby in an unsafe condition, allowed or caused water to accumulate on the lobby floor and allowed the water to remain on the floor for a long time.

Gravitt also alleges the church failed to repair leaks in the area near the water, failed to warn him of the slick and unsafe surface and allowed a slick and unsafe surface on the floor to exist when it knew or should have known that the condition was unsafe.

He claims while walking across the lobby he slipped and fell in the water which caused severe, painful and permanent injuries to his body and limbs, became liable for medical expenses and lost wages.




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