Cassens and Sons, seller of tractor trailer rigs, claims that drivers can't pursue injury suits against it if they identify manufacturers of parts that caused their accidents.

On July 29, attorney Michael Bedesky moved to dismiss a suit Mark Graham filed six years ago and attorney Joshua Severit moved to dismiss one John Sheffer filed three years ago.

Graham blames a faulty seat for his injuries, and Sheffer blames a faulty "fifth wheel."

Bedesky and Severit wrote that section 2-621 of civil procedure "provides that a non manufacturer defendant must be dismissed from a strict liability product claim upon certifying the correct identity of the manufacturer of the allegedly defective product."

They wrote, "The Illinois Supreme Court has held that when a non manufacturer defendant complies with the requirements of section 2-621, its dismissal from a strict liability action is mandatory."

Bedesky wrote that seat maker Bostrom Seating filed an answer to Graham's complaint.

Severit wrote that rig manufacturer Cottrell Inc. and part maker Fontaine Fifth Wheel filed answers to Sheffer's complaint.

Both wrote that to overcome a motion to dismiss, a plaintiff must show that Cassens and Sons exercised significant control over design or manufacture, or that it knew about the defect that caused the injury.

"Plaintiff's conclusory statement that Cassens and Sons knew of the dangers and design defects in the rig, without more, does not rise to the level of actual knowledge necessary to preclude dismissal," they wrote.

They wrote that Cassens and Sons facilitated the purchase of the trucks.

"Its role was limited to filing the title documents, handling the transfer of funds, and assigning certificates of origin to the purchasers," they wrote.

"Cassens and Sons never possessed, delivered, inspected, prepared, services, or otherwise delivered the truck," they wrote.

"Cassens had no actual knowledge that the alleged defect existed," they wrote.

Bedesky and Severit practice at Reed Armstrong in Edwardsville.

Brian Wendler of Edwardsville and Charles Armbruster of Alton represent Graham and Sheffer.

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Illinois Supreme Court Reed, Armstrong, Mudge & Morrissey

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