Mudge sets hearing in couple's case against trucking company

By Christina Stueve | Jun 14, 2012


Madison County Circuit Judge William Mudge on Tuesday scheduled a hearing for June 29 in a couple's case against a trucking company over injuries from a fall.

John and Jacqueline Thompson claim Cottrell and co-defendant Auto Handling Corp. were warned about the lack of traction on their trucks before John Thompson was hurt in a fall from the top of a truck.

The hearing will be held based on Cottrell's motion and application to compel arbitration under Illinois' uniform arbitration act or federal arbitration act and Cottrell's motion for summary judgment.

Thompson was allegedly working as a car hauler in Granite City on Aug. 14, 2008, when he fell to the ground from a rail at the top of his rig.

Thompson allegedly sustained injuries to his right and left shoulder and experienced pain. He also was disfigured, incurred medical costs, lost wages and may be forced to retire early, the complaint says.

Cottrell failed to equip its rig with safe ladders, walkways, and handholds; failed to warn of the dangers of its rig; failed to analyze injury and testing data; failed to redesign the rig when it knew it was causing excessive injuries; and failed to impress on others the need to redesign similar rigs, the Thompsons claim.

The Thompsons seek a judgment of more than $50,000.

Cottrell wrote in its defense to the lawsuit that plaintiff Thompson failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to control the rig and failed to care for his own physical well-being, and assumption of the risk or misuse of the product was the result.

"Plaintiffs' alleged damages were solely the result of acts, omissions and conduct of persons over whom Cottrell exercised no control," the defense' answer says.

Brian M. Wendler and Thomas G. Maag of Wendler Law in Edwardsville represent the Thompsons.

Daniel Carpenter, Amy Lorenz-Moser and Theresa Lynch from Armstrong Teasdale are the attorneys for Defendant Cottrell.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-1067.

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