Followell settles for $3.8 million with widow of man killed in Millstadt trench collapse

By Amelia Flood | May 19, 2011


A construction company that lost a multi-million dollar wrongful death trial earlier this year has settled a second suit for $3.8 million that relates to the same fatal 2008 Millstadt trench collapse.

St. Clair County Associate Judge Andrew Gleeson signed an order approving Followell Construction Inc.'s settlement with plaintiff Kathy Eickelman on May 4.

Followell settled with Eickelman for $3.8 million and fellow defendant Midwest Petroleum and Excavating settled with her for $200,000.

Both amounts were included in the same settlement document.

Eickelman sued Followell, Midwest Petroleum and other defendants on claims related to the
death of her husband Walter Eickelman in 2008.

Walter Eickelman was working for Midwest on a project involving a sewer ditch in Millstadt.

Followell was the general contractor on the project.

Fellow worker Ron Yankey was in the trench when it began to collapse.

Walter Eickelman attempted to rescue Yankey from the collapsing trench.

Both men were eventually buried in the collapse and died as a result.

Ron Yankey's widow, Mendy Yankey, also filed suit against Followell.

She won $3,770,800.00 at trial in St. Clair County in April.

Eickelman's settlement includes a waiver of any lien held by Midwest Petroleum related to payments made to the plaintiff under the Illinois Worker's Compensation Act.

Kathy Eickelman will also continue to receive death benefits under the workers' compensation act.

The plaintiff will pay her attorneys out of the settlement. There is no amount for fees spelled out in the settlement approved by Gleeson.

Steve Stone represents Eickelman.

Michael Bedesky represents Followell.

Beth Boggs represents Midwest Petroleum.

The case is St. Clair case number 08-L-299.
The Yankey case was St. Clair case number 08-L-200. St. Clair County Circuit Judge Robert LeChien presided over the Yankey case.

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