Jury trial set for school bus driver brawl lawsuit

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Sep 3, 2013

A jury trial has been scheduled by Madison County Circuit Judge William Mudge for Sept. 9 at 9 a.m. in a case involving a school bus driver who alleges his co-worker attacked him, causing him to tear his rotator cuff during the brawl.

A final pre-trial hearing is set for Sept. 5 at 9 a.m. to discuss trial details.

Gary Spiller filed his complaint on Aug. 6, claiming Ronal Cochran attacked him on Aug. 8, 2011. Both worked as school bus drivers for First Student.

According to the complaint, Cochran attacked Spiller after Spiller turned down the advances of a female employee.

“Prior to the battery, Ronald Cochran and another female employed by First Student had an intimate relationship and Cochran had become infatuated with the female employee,” the suit states. “In order to appease and placate his paramour, Cochran determined to punish plaintiff Spiller by battering him forcefully.”

First Student is also named a defendant. Spiller claims it negligently failed to warn Spiller of a threat to his safety, failed to notify his union of the threat to his safety, failed to further investigate a threat Cochran had made and failed to warn Cochran he would be terminated if he engaged in an act of violence.

On Aug. 22, Martha Brediger and Roberta Everhardt were subpoenaed to appear at a discovery deposition.

C. Zachary Vaughn in Chicago represents Cochran.

Thomas J. Magee of HelperBroom in St. Louis represents First Student.

Roy C. Dropps of Armbruster, Dripps, Winterscheidt and Blotevogel in Alton represents Spiller.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 12-L-1223.

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