St. Clair County Circuit Judge Vincent Lopinot on Aug. 27 denied a defense motion to dismiss a woman’s wrongful death suit against Southwestern Electric Cooperative.

The company filed the motion to dismiss stating the plaintiff failed to plead sufficient facts to demonstrate the company owed a duty to the decedent, breached a duty and caused the worker’s death.

Nancy Mehochko claims her husband Gregory Mehochko was 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.

According to the complaint, he was working near and touching a concrete mixer when an overhead power line without insulation collapsed and came into contact with the concrete mixer. Gregory Mehochko died on Feb. 12.

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

Nancy Mehochko alleges Southwestern Electric Cooperative 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.

The complaint also lists Concrete Supply as a defendant, which stated on July 11 that if the plaintiff sustained injuries, they are the result of the carelessness, negligence, fault and/or unlawful conduct of persons other than the defendant.

Concrete Supply also stated that the plaintiff failed to mitigate damages, which bars recovery or recovery of damages caused by failure to mitigate.

Lopinot scheduled a status conference for Dec. 9 at 9 a.m.

Concrete Supply of Illinois demanded a jury trial on July 11.

Thiems Construction Company, Inc. was also summoned on Aug. 15 by Lopinot to file an answer in the case or file an appearance. It was given 30 days to respond.

Nancy Mehochko seeks more than $50,000 in damages.

James Stockberger of Armstrong Teasdale LLP in St. Louis represents Concrete Supply of Illinois.

John McCollough and Matthew Champlin of HelperBroom in Edwardsville represent Southwestern Electric Cooperative.

Bruce R. Cook of Cook, Ysursa, Bartholomew, Brauer and Shevlin in Belleville represents Nancy Mehochko.

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

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