Georgia trailer maker Cottrell Inc., defending itself on an allegation that a defective idler caused a trucker's injury, claims to have discovered that it didn't provide or install the idler.
Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack on May 8 granted Cottrell leave to file a third party complaint against whoever supplied the idler and welded it to a Cottrell trailer.
"Unknown defendants attached the idler at issue to the rig at issue," Cottrell attorney Amy Lorenz-Moser wrote. "Unknown defendants were responsible for and had a duty to attach the idler at issue to the rig at issue in a reasonably safe fashion."
Stack granted leave over the objection of attorney Thomas Maag, who represents trucker Keith Yount of Ohio.
Yount sued Cottrell in 2006, claiming he suffered an injury while loading vehicles on a Cottrell trailer in Missouri.
Yount also sued businesses of the Cassens family of Edwardsville. He named family member Lisa Shashek as an individual defendant.
"Through discovery in this matter, Cottrell has learned that the idler was a replacement idler that was not designed, manufactured, sold, or installed by Cottrell," Lorenz-Moser wrote.
"Cottrell has further learned that the idler broke from the rig because it was attached by an inadequate weld," she wrote. "The idler was welded to the rig not by Cottrell, but by an unknown person or entity."
"The rig at issue is found to be in a defective and unreasonably safe condition," she wrote. "It was as a direct and proximate result of the above breach of duties by unknown defendants," she wrote.
"After further investigation of the individual or entity responsible for the aforesaid, Cottrell reserves the right to amend to substitute the proper party."