As Dennis Ruth dons a Madison County judicial robe, the city of Troy has asked him to stop attorney Amanda Verett's suit claiming a policeman helped a door injure her.
Christine McClimans of Alton, representing officer Clarence Jackson, moved for summary judgment on Nov. 26.
"Officer Jackson was clearly executing and enforcing the law," McClimans wrote.
Ruth took charge of the case last week, along with all others that retiring Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron left behind.
In this case Verett sued Pizza Hut and Jackson blames for injuries she suffered while opening a door at the Troy restaurant.
According to McClimans, Verett does not know exactly what happened.
"It is questionable whether she was even injured," McClimans wrote in the motion for summary judgment.
"Plaintiff is speculating and cannot prove proximate cause," she wrote. "Plaintiff does not know what caused the door to move if it caused her injury."
Verett and her attorney, Thomas Maag, have remained vague about what happened.
As McClimans described it, Jackson quelled a big ruckus that Verett had started.
Pizza Hut manager Carla Damron had fired an employee for theft.
Under Pizza Hut rules, the worker had to show up and sign for a final paycheck.
When the worker showed up, Verett and attorney Michael Reid showed up too.
"The attorneys refused to let the 'client/employee' talk to Pizza Hut management without their involvement, although their attendance
was unannounced," McClimans wrote.
She wrote that in a deposition Damron said, "They basically hovered over us like they were vultures."
McClimans wrote that Damron called police and the attorneys knew she did.
"Plaintiff and the other attorney knew that the Pizza Hut management was frustrated with them," she wrote.
"Although plaintiff and the other attorney were asked to leave by the manager and by the police officer, the other attorney continued to ask for the client's paycheck which the manager would not give up."
Jackson again instructed them to leave, she wrote, and he threatened to arrest Reid.
"The other attorney then continued to exit out the door past Verett who was still holding the door," she wrote.
"Verett admits that she was not looking at Jackson when she was exiting," she wrote.
"Plaintiff believed a vacuum effect occurred when she was exiting through the Pizza Hut doors," she wrote.
"Plaintiff's attorney friend admitted that he did not know how Jackson grabbed the door closed as he was more concerned that Jackson might pull his Mace out," she wrote.
"Jackson denies touching the door while plaintiff was touching it," she wrote.
"It is important to point out, those who had a clear view of Jackson did not see Jackson touch the door while plaintiff was touching it," she wrote.
McClimans also wrote that Verett didn't tell anyone at Pizza Hut she was injured.
She wrote that Verett immediately went to the police station but reported no injury.
"By all accounts, the attorneys were making a scene in a public restaurant," she wrote.