City of Belleville demands jury trial in suit accusing it of having a dangerous sidewalk

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Sep 25, 2013

The City of Belleville has requested an extension of time to respond to a man's complaint over injuries he sustained after falling on a sidewalk.

In his July 19 complaint, Ace Fouts claims the sidewalk near the intersection of 501 South Second and Monroe streets in Belleville was “cracked and buckling,” which caused him to fall.

Fouts, according to the suit, contends that when he tried to step on the curb after exiting his vehicle, it allegedly collapsed, causing him severe injuries.

His suit accuses the city of Belleville of failing to provide a safe way to walk on its sidewalks, failing to warn of a hazardous condition of the sidewalk and failing to exercise reasonable care.

Fouts on Sept. 3 filed a motion for default through his attorney Jarrod P. Beasley that states the City of Belleville was given 30 days to file a response to the complaint but failed to do so.

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Robert LeChien, however, denied the motion as moot on Sep. 16 because the city filed a motion for an extension of time on Sep. 10. The city also demanded a jury trial.

Fouts seeks a judgment of more than $50,000.

LeChien scheduled a mandatory status conference for 9:30 a.m. Oct. 15.

Alan G. Pirtle of Becker, Paulson, Hoerner & Thompson P.C. of Belleville represents the city.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 13-L-376

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