Hylla to hear move to push off October wrongful death trial

By Amelia Flood | Aug 19, 2010


Madison County Circuit Judge David Hylla is set to hear a move to push back an October wrongful death trial involving a woman who lost her husband and son in a November 2008 Granite City car accident.

Plaintiff Jessica Ellen Legens is suing Mark Ikerman, a truck driver, his employer, Manheim Services Corporation, Mack & Mick's Sports Bar, and the owners of Sparky's 397 Pub for what she claims were the wrongful deaths of her husband, Donald Lee Legens, and their son, Donald Lee Legens, Jr.

Donald Lee Legens and his son both died in the accident that happened on West Pontoon Beach Road near its intersection with Briarcliff Lane.

Hylla will hear the move, filed by defendants Mark and Mary Eddleman, at 1 p.m. Aug. 19.

The case is currently set for trial Oct. 18.

According to her first amended complaint, Donald Legens and his son were stopped in a 1999 Kia Sportage at the intersection in the outer lane of eastbound traffic when the car was struck by a truck driven by Ikerman.

Jessica Legens claims that Ikerman failed to reduce his speed to avoid the accident, was speeding, did not sound his horn, did not yield and that he was driving under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash.

Donald Legens, who was outside his car, was struck when the collision pushed his car into him.

Donald Legens Jr. was inside the car at the time of the collision.

The first amended complaint alleges that as a result of the accident, Donald Legens died on the night of the accident.

Donald Legens Jr. died three days after the Nov. 14, 2008 accident.

Jessica Legens seeks at least $50,000 per count against Ikerman.

Ikerman currently faces four criminal counts stemming from the accident. Ikerman is charged with two counts of aggravated driving while under the influence and two counts of failing to report an accident involving personal injury or death.

The plaintiff is suing Manheim for vicarious liability and other claims, also for $50,000 per count.

Although only Ikerman and Manheim were named in the original complaint, Jessica Legens' first amended complaint added Mac and Mick's as well as Mark and Mary Eddleman, the owners of the Sparky's bar.

The complaint alleges that the two bars knowingly sold alcohol to Ikerman and allowed him to become intoxicated.

That intoxication, the plaintiff argues, caused the fatal accident.

Manheim had filed a third party complaint against Mac & Mick's in August 2009.

It filed a counterclaim for contribution against the Legens' estate, claiming that Donald Legens had contributed to the accident by drinking, failing to ascertain how much gas he had, getting out of his car at the intersection and failing to alert other motorists to his presence using lights or another means.

That claim was filed the same day as another counterclaim Manheim filed against Ikerman.

Jessica Legens is represented by Kevin Davidson of St. Louis.

Mark Ikerman is represented by Joel Groenewold of Chicago in the civil case. He is represented in the criminal matter by Edward Unsell. Those charges remain pending before Madison County Associate Judge James Hackett.

Manheim Services Corporation is represented by Donald O'Meara of Chicago.

Mac & Mick's Sports Bar and Grill is represented by Ralph Derango of Belleville.

Mark and Mary Eddleman, the owner of Sparky's 397 Pub, is represented by John Cunningham of Belleville.

The case is Madison case number 08-L-1113.

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