Stack to hear motion on attorney's lien in boy's electrical shock case

By Amelia Flood | Jul 7, 2010


The plaintiffs in a case stemming from a boy's electrical shock are asking a Madison County judge to sort out what, if anything, their former attorney is owed.

Circuit Judge Daniel Stack will hear the motion to adjudicate the attorney's lien at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Plaintiff Anna Thebeau filed the motion May 26. In it, Thebeau asserts that attorney Thomas Hildebrand is not entitled to any fees in the case she filed on her own behalf and that of her son over injuries he suffered five years ago after climbing an electrical tower.

Hildebrand, according to the plaintiff, will not release his asserted attorney lien in the matter.

She claims Hildebrand never filed suit and that he was suspended from the practice of law by the Illinois Supreme Court.

Thebeau and her son, Justin Porter, had retained Hildebrand in their suit against Ameren UE and other power companies five years ago, before going to the Evans Partnership, their current attorneys.

Thebeau and her son are suing the companies for negligence related to Justin Porter's injuries in April 2005.

The defendants had the case removed to federal court.

Porter allegedly suffered third degree burns, a broken pelvis and other injuries after falling from an electrical tower the boy climbed and being shocked.

He and his mother claim the defendants knew children played near the power tower and did not take precautions to prevent injuries such as putting up barricades or a fence.

The original suit seeks damages in excess of $50,000 and costs per count of the suit.

According to the Attorney's Registration and Public Disciplinary Record, maintained by the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Illinois Supreme Court (ARDC), Hildebrand was suspended March 20, 2006.

The Granite City attorney is not currently allowed to practice law.
Hildebrand had previously been on put on probation by the ARDC from January 2004 up to the date of his 2006 suspension.

He had previously been suspended in from 2003 to 2004.

Hildebrand's attorney, Carol Cagle of Alton, filed her appearance in the case June 29.

In his response, Hildebrand alleges he asserted substantial effort on his former clients' parts, although he did not file suit.

Hildebrand claims his 2006 suspension does not negate his right to compensation.

Cagle also filed a notice to produce asking for the complete case file, the case file of any minor's estate opened for Justin Porter and any settlement documents in the case.

Stephen Evans of St. Louis represents the plaintiffs.

Cagle represents Hildebrand.

James Virtel and Karen Baudendistel of St. Louis represent the Ameren defendants.

The case is Madison case number 07-L-349.

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