School janitor claims student horseplay causes $800k in injuries

By Kelly Holleran | May 19, 2010

A Belleville West High School custodian has filed suit against two minor students, seeking more than $800,000 after he claims to have sustained injuries to his shoulder and arm after the students slammed a door into him while horse playing.

Keith Muskopf claims he was performing his job duties at the school on May 7, 2008, when students Ehhsan Hamden and Philsamrae Escaesenas ran out of the school's physical education locker room and slammed an athletic storage door closed into Keith Muskopf's right shoulder.

According to the complaint filed May 6 in St. Clair County Circuit Court, Philsamrae Escaesenas threw a pair of pants into the hallway then chased Ehhsan Hamden out of the locker room before slamming the door shut.

Because of the incident, Muskopf alleges he sustained serious injuries to his right shoulder, right arm, neck and back and incurred medical costs, the suit states. In addition, he suffered great pain and mental anguish, incurred disability and lost his normal life, the complaint says.

In addition, Paula Muskopf, Keith Muskopf's wife, claims she lost her husband's services, affections, society, companionship and consortium; has been hindered from attending to her usual business and affairs; and will be otherwise injured because of the incident.

In their 24-count complaint, the Muskopfs are seeking a judgment of more than $800,000, plus costs.

In addition to Ehhsan Hamden and Philsamrae Escaesenas, the Muskopfs name the students' parents – Nasser and Nadia Hamden and Marites and Rodolpho Escaesenas – as defendants and as respondents in discovery.

They will be represented by Steven E. Katzman of Katzman and Associates in Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-230.

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