A final pre-trial conference is set next week in a Jones Act suit against the owners of the Alton Belle Casino.

Madison County Circuit Judge William Mudge set the pre-trial in the case brought by plaintiff Michael Meinhardt on April 25.

Meinhardt is suing Argosy Gaming Company for damages in excess of $50,000 and costs. He claims that the casino failed to provide him with a safe work environment in April 2007 while he was working on board their vessel on the Mississippi River.

The plaintiff claims that while performing his duties and picking up furnishings to help an elderly customer, he was injured.

Argosy denies negligence in the incident.

It also argues that Meinhardt was not a seaman when the injury occurred and therefore he is not entitled to pursue damages under the Jones Act.

Case management conferences in the case were continued several times when it was under the jurisdiction of Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder.

Mudge took over the case when Crowder's docket became his after she became the county's asbestos judge last year.

Mudge's final pre-trial order entered Monday specifies that the suit is set for trial May 9 at 9 a.m.

William Miller III represents the plaintiff.

Gregg Kinney represents Argosy.

The case is Madison case number 09-L-359.

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