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Electrocution case against Southwestern Electric Co-op up for hearing

By Christina Stueve Hodges | Aug 8, 2013

Matthew b. champlin

An Aug. 27 hearing will be held in St. Clair County Circuit Judge Vincent Lopinot’s courtroom over a woman’s case against a power company involving 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 un-insulated overhead power line collapsed and came into contact with the concrete mixer, according to the March 13 complaint.

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

Mehochko died Feb. 12.

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’s motion to dismiss is the subject of the upcoming hearing. According to the motion, the plaintiff failed to plead sufficient facts to demonstrate the company owed a duty to the decedent, breached a duty and caused Mehochko’s death.

The company also filed a motion to transfer in April, stating venue in St. Clair County is improper because the accident did not occur in St. Clair County and because it is not a resident of St. Clair County.

Southwestern Electric Cooperative withdrew its motion to transfer for improper venue July 29, stating the plaintiff added Concrete Supply, LLC as a defendant.

Concrete Supply responded to the complaint July 11, stating if the plaintiff sustained injuries or damages as alleged, such injuries are the result of the carelessness, negligence, fault and/or unlawful conduct of persons other than the defendant.

Concrete Supply also stated the plaintiff failed to mitigate damages, if any, and such failure to mitigate damages should bar recovery or bar recovery of damages caused by failure to mitigate.

Nancy Mehochko, special administrator of the estate of Gregory Mehochko, denied Concrete Supplies' allegations in its response to the suit.

She 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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