Negligence trial over tree step accident set July 14

By Amelia Flood | Jul 9, 2009


A lawsuit stemming from tree steps that allegedly collapsed in October 2004 is set for trial Monday.

One defendant has also asked the court to approve a settlement worth $2,500. Three of the suit's original defendants won dismissals.

Plaintiff Michael Spann sued Ameristed Inc., Stokes Steel Treating Company Inc., Hindley Manufacturing Company Inc., Gordon Johnson DBA Ultra Product LTD., Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Ultra Products LTD., and Mid-State Plating Company over what he said were faulty tree steps.

After purchasing the steps from Wal-Mart, Spann claims, among other charges, that the steps were faulty and collapsed. He claims injuries to his right ankle and left knee, past and future pain and suffering, medical bills and lost income.

His original suit included multiple counts of negligence against the defendants. He seeks damages in excess of $200,000 and costs.

Wal-Mart was dismissed from the case in April of this year. Ultra Products LTD. was dismissed in September 2006 while Mid-State was dismissed two years later.

Stokes asked the court on June 22 to approve a settlement granting Spann $2,500 after reaching the settlement 11 days earlier.

The trial is scheduled to begin July 14 at 9 a.m.

Madison County Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian is presiding.

Spann is represented by Lance Mallon. Ameristed is represented by James DeFranco. Stokes is represented by Donald Ohl. Hindley is represented by Russell Watters. Johnson is represented by Tori Lynn Cox.

The case is Madison case number 06-L-422.

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