Madison - St. Clair Record

Thursday, October 17, 2019

CMC set in lawsuit against Southwestern Electric Co-op over worker's electrocution

By Christina Stueve Hodges | Jun 27, 2013

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Vincent Lopinot on June 10 set a case management conference for Aug. 12 in a woman’s lawsuit against a power company over a worker's electrocution.

Nancy Mehochko claims Gregory Mehochko was a laborer, working on a construction project near the intersection of State Route 162 and Lakeview Acres Road in Maryville on Jan. 23 at the time of the incident.

He was working near and touching a concrete mixer when an uninsulated overhead power line collapsed and came into contact with the concrete mixer, according to the complaint filed March 13 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

The power line was knocked over after a track hoe came into contact with it and was owned by defendant Southwestern Electric Cooperative.

Mehochko died Feb. 12, according to the May 20 first amended complaint.

Nancy Mehochko says the company negligently failed to maintain its power line, failed to maintain the reclosures protecting the power line and failed to suspend its power line at the proper height.

She seeks more than $50,000 in damages.

Southwestern Electric Cooperative filed a motion to dismiss May 31.

It states the plaintiff failed to plead sufficient facts to demonstrate that the company owed a duty to the decedent, breached a duty, and caused Mehochko’s death.

“While plaintiff concludes SWEC was negligent in various respects, plaintiff fails to set forth any facts establishing a relationship between SWEC and decedent giving rise to a duty," the motion states.

Southwestern Electric Cooperative filed a motion to transfer for improper venue April 30.

The motion states that since the accident did not occur in St. Clair county and because SWEC is not a resident of St. Clair County, venue in St. Clair County is improper. The company is asking that the case be transferred to Bond County, where SWEC is located and has an office, or to Madison County, where the accident occurred and where SWEC has an office and does business.

Mehochko is represented by Bruce R. Cook of Cook, Ysursa, Bartholomew, Brauer and Shevlin in Belleville.

John McCollough and Matthew Champlin of HeplerBroom represent Southwestern Electric Cooperative.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-138.

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