Two-year-old slip and fall case settles right before trial in St. Clair County

By Christina Stueve | Jul 23, 2012




A Cahokia man's lawsuit against Illinois Bell Telephone and Illinois Power settled Monday morning in St. Clair County.

The case was scheduled to go to trial this week in Associate Judge Vincent Lopinot's courtroom.

The case was filed by Jesse J. Smith who blamed Illinois Bell Telephone and Illinois Power after he tripped and fell over a loose wire on the ground.

Smith claimed he was walking on a hill in front of his trailer in Cahokia toward his friend Willie Hunt's mobile home on Aug. 17, 2009, when he fell.

Before tripping on the wire, Smith became distracted by a transformer owned by Illinois Power that was making noise and producing sparks, according to the complaint filed Oct. 27, 2010.

Because he was looking at the transformer and not the ground, Smith tripped on the wire, which detached from a telephone pole and fell to the ground, injuring his right shoulder, according to the complaint.

In addition to his right shoulder injury, Smith became disabled, faced an increased risk of future harm and lost wages, his suit stated.

He blamed Illinois Bell Telephone Company for allowing its wire to become detached from its telephone pole and for failing to repair the wire.

Smith also blamed Illinois Power Company for failing to maintain its transformer and for allowing the transformer to fail.

Smith originally sought a judgment of more than $50,000.

Smith was represented by William J. Knapp and Del A. Goldenhersh of Knapp, Ohl and Green in Edwardsville.

Timothy E. Hayes and Thomas M. Payne III of Timothy E. Hayes and Associates represented the defense.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-564.

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