No action has taken place since the fall of 2008 in a wrongful death suit filed against Ameren over the electrocution of an East St. Louis man, according to court records.

Bernice Edwards filed the suit against the power company on behalf of her nephew's estate. The last recorded action in the case was an order signed by St. Clair County Circuit Judge Lloyd Cueto setting a mandatory status conference in October 2008.

Edwards filed the suit after her nephew, Chester Chatman, died in July 2007. According to her complaint, Chatman was electrocuted and his body set on fire as a result on July 20, 2006 after he came into contact with a downed power line at his home in an East St. Louis housing complex.

The complaint alleges that Ameren had a duty to maintain the line and that the company was aware of the downed wire. The plaintiff claims Ameren was negligent in failing to notify the East St. Louis Housing Authority who owned Chatman's residence and those living there about the danger of the line and that the company's failure to shut off power to the line caused her nephew's death.

The suit contends that Chatman's family suffered the loss of his love, companionship, and loss of society. The suit seeks damages of $50,000 and costs.

Ameren has yet to file an answer to the suit according to the case file.

Edwards is represented by Jerold Goldenhersh of Belleville.

The case is St. Clair case number 08-L-312.

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