An eight year old personal injury/product liability case against local companies Cassens Corp. and Cassens & Sons as well as Bostrom Seating is at trial in Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder’s court.

Alton attorney Charles Armbruster told Madison County jurors on Wednesday they would be “shocked” at how much money he wants for his client if he were to tell them the specific figure during his opening argument.

“At the end of this case we will come back and ask you for a specific dollar amount…” Armbruster said.

“Once you’ve heard the evidence you will be in a position to understand.”

Armbruster’s co-counsel Brian Wendler of Edwardsville filed the case on behalf of trucker Mark Graham in 2005. Graham had worked for Cassens Transport – a car hauling division of Cassens Corp. and third party defendant previously dismissed from the case.

Graham claims that on Oct. 18, 2004, he suffered a low back injury due to the alleged failure of his rig’s seat and its mounting brackets. He claims he suffered lost wages, disfigurement, decrease in employability, pain and suffering, disfigurement, scarring and has incurred medical bills in an effort to treat his injuries – which includes a ruptured lumbar disc at L4-5.

Armbruster said that a physician who treated Graham – Dr. Robert Margolis – said that it was “more probably true than not” that the Bostrom seat in his 1997 International truck led to disc herniation.

Bostrom’s attorney Mike Murphy of Belleville said during his opening that among five “histories” taken following Graham’s report of injury, “not once” was there mention of a broken seat or a problem with the rig’s seat.

Murphy also said that Graham did not see Dr. Margolis until 2008, four years after his injury. He also told jurors that Wendler chose Dr. Margolis, made the appointment and went with Graham to the appointment.

Murphy said that he would present evidence showing that its product was not defective, was not unreasonably dangerous and that Graham’s injury was not caused by its seat.

Attorney Troy Bozarth of HeplerBroom in Edwardsville represents Cassens Corp. and Michael Bedesky of Reed Armstrong in Edwardsville represents Cassens &
Sons at trial.

Armbruster was expected to bring Dr. Margolis to the stand on Wednesday afternoon.

MadisonCounty case number 05-L-659

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