Madison - St. Clair Record

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Smithton Township Road District denies liability in traffic accident suit; Woman sues government entity instead of driver

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Oct 26, 2015


Smithton Township Road District claims dismissal is proper in a woman’s traffic accident lawsuit because it did not have the authority to establish speed limits for the roadway at issue.

According to Linn Lebonick’s lawsuit, she claims she was a pedestrian on Press Road in Smithton on March 31 when Lauren Mank hit her while driving her vehicle eastbound on Press Road, approximately 75 feed east of Fisher Road.

Lebonick sued the Smithton Township Road District instead of the driver of the vehicle, claiming Press Road was a public thoroughfare owned and maintained by the defendant.

She alleges the defendant was in breach of its obligation to erect speed advisory signs or curve warning signs, impose a reduced speed limit in the area and warn motorists of the road’s hazards, including the number and “severity” of its curves, to avoid injuries and damages.

She also alleges the defendant was remiss in maintaining the roadway “in a manner that caused the vehicle driven by Lauren N. Mank to collide into the pedestrian, Linn M. Lebonick.”

The defendant filed a motion to dismiss on Oct. 5 through attorney Matthew W. Kelly of Schrempf, Kelly & Napp in Alton, alleging immunity under the Illinois Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act.

The defendant also claims that dismissal is proper because there is no provision granting the defendant authority to establish speed limits. Rather, the county board has the authority to determine the maximum speed limit on all county highways and township roads.

Lebonick seeks damages in excess of $50,000, plus attorney’s fees and costs.

Circuit Judge Vincent Lopinot scheduled a status conference for Nov. 23 at 9 a.m.

The plaintiff is represented by Charles Stegmeyer of Stegmeyer & Stegmeyer in Belleville.

St. Clair County circuit court case number 15-L-360

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