Madison County saw 11 civil jury trials go all the way
to verdict in 2015 with Madison County juries awarding a total of $830,028 this
year in four of those cases.
Of those jury verdicts in favor of the plaintiffs, two
of those cases were personal injury lawsuits arising out of car accidents. The
other two cases alleged wrongful termination and fraud.
Of the 11 jury verdicts, seven cases ended in defense
Seven cases were law cases and four were arbitration
cases that could not reach agreements.
These totals do not include jury trials that ended in
On Jan. 6, a jury entered a verdict in favor of defendant
Lueders Ross Agency in Circuit Judge William Mudge’s courtroom following a
two-day trial (12-L-252).
Plaintiffs Eureka Hampton and Rufis Jefferson filed their
two-count complaint on Feb. 24, 2012, through attorney Edward T. McCarthy of
McCarty and Allen in Edwardsville. They alleged they purchased insurance
coverage from Lueders but were denied their claim after an October 2009 fire
destroyed their home and personal contents at 2416 Adams St. in Granite City.
The plaintiffs alleged that when they initially applied
for the insurance policy, they answered several questions over the phone in
order to secure a policy through Allied, the insurer represented by the agency.
However, the insurer denied their claim when Hampton
and Jefferson applied for aid following the fire, saying they had not truthfully
responded to all of the questions on their policy application, the complaint
The plaintiffs argued that Lueders failed to ask them
all of the necessary questions to complete the application, specifically
whether they had filed for bankruptcy or been convicted of any felony.
Lueders, on the other hand, argued that Hampton knew
co-applicant Jefferson was a convicted felon and acknowledged that she, too,
was a convicted felon.
Furthermore, the plaintiffs were tenants at the
property and were subject to a lease with a purchase option at the time of the
“The only equitable interest the plaintiffs would have
in the home is the credits they earned pursuant to the terms of the lease.
Having no other equitable interest in the home, plaintiffs may not make claim
for any other dwelling coverages available under the policy at issue,” the
defendant stated in its prior request for summary judgment from May 12, 2012.
Edward L. Adelman of Goffstein, Raskas, Pomerantz,
Kraus & Sherman, LLC represented the defendant.
On Feb. 17, the jury entered a verdict in favor of
defendant The Glik Company in Circuit Judge John Barberis’ courtroom following
a one-day trial (14-AR-305).
Plaintiff Denise Getz filed her complaint on July 3,
2014, through attorney John Leskera of Collinsville. She alleged she was
walking in the parking lot of the shopping center owned by the defendant located
at 2649 Northtown Way in Highland on May 4, 2013.
While walking, Getz claimed she tripped on an uneven
surface and injured herself.
The defendant, represented by Mark Osland of the Law
Office of Stephen Larson in St. Louis, argued that the plaintiff contributed to
her own alleged injuries by failing to keep a reasonable and proper lookout for
conditions which might pose a hazard to her and failing to observe and
appreciate conditions on the premises which might or could have posed a hazard
On Feb. 18, the jury entered a verdict in favor of
plaintiff Jack Lingenfelder in Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder’s courtroom
following the two-day trial (14-AR-9).
The jury awarded the plaintiff $4,958.11 for “reasonable
cost of repairs and the difference in fair market value of the property
immediately before the occurrence and its fair market value after the property
Lingenfelder filed his complaint on Jan. 3, 2014,
through attorney Eddie Unsell of Unsell & Schuman in East Alton. He alleged
he hired defendant CAMS Automotive in May 2013 to complete certain
mechanical work on his 1970 Chevrolet Corvette. The plaintiff claimed he paid
the defendant $10,380 for the work.
Lingenfelder alleged CAMS was negligent and placed the
wrong parts on the motor of the vehicle, causing mechanical failure of the
engine, damage to the transmission and damage to the interior.
Represented by Eric Zueck of Peoria, the defendant alleged
the plaintiff drove the vehicle in a rough and excessive manner which caused
the damages, operated the vehicle at excessive speeds and abused the engine and
transmission of the vehicle by operating it above the recommended tolerances.
On Feb. 20, a jury entered a verdict in favor of
defendants Alton Multispecialists and Dr. Maudie Miller in Mudge’s courtroom
after the four-day trial (11-L-509).
Plaintiff Kevin Doe filed his two-count complaint on
May 27, 2011, through attorneys John Papa and David Horan of Callis, Papa,
Szewczyk & Danzinger.
The plaintiff claimed that on May 21, 2009, Doe
consulted Miller, a physician and general surgeon with Alton Multispecialists,
to treat a recurrent left inguinal hernia. One week later, Doe says he was
admitted to an ambulatory surgery department at Alton Memorial Hospital where
Miller attempted to surgically repair his alleged hernia with mesh.
Miller continued to provide post-surgery care to Doe
until June 18, 2009. He was permitted to return to work on June 22, 2009, with
However, Doe claimed he suffered a recurrence of his
left inguinal hernia in February 2010 as a direct result of Miller’s
Jim Neville and Matt Zittell of Neville, Richards
& Wuller LLC in Belleville represented the defendants in the case.
Doe filed a post-trial motion for a new trial on March
23. He argued that the trial court refused to dismiss members of the jury pool
that were patients of the defendant.
He also argued that the defense counsel made improper
arguments during the closing statement when he attacked the credibility of Dr.
Christopher Purett, one of the plaintiff’s treating physicians, by stating that
the doctor offered favorable testimony for Doe in exchange for Doe not suing
his father, Dr. Don Pruett.
Mudge denied the plaintiff’s post-trial motion on May
On March 2, a jury entered a verdict in favor of
plaintiff Lance Wesen in Barberis’ courtroom following a one-day trial
The jury awarded the plaintiff $10,715 in damages.
Wesen filed his complaint on March 6, 2014, through
attorney Patricia Zimmer of Ripplinger & Zimmer in Belleville. He alleged
he was driving a Volkswagon Jetta southbound on Troy Road in Edwardsville
stopped at the intersection with Third Avenue. At the same time, defendant
Benjamin Hunter was driving a 2005 Nissan Altima southbound on Troy Road when
he allegedly collided with the rear of Wesen’s vehicle.
The defendant was represented by Martin Clay of the
Law Offices of Bingley Hart & Hesi in St. Louis.
On March 18, Wesen filed a satisfaction of judgment,
releasing the judgment entered against Hunter.
Barberis ordered that the matter is vacated, held for naught
and dismissed on April 9.
On April 8, a jury entered a verdict in favor of
defendant Garrett Hausman in Barberis’ courtroom following a three-day trial
Plaintiff Jannette Schilling filed her complaint on
Feb. 11, 2013, through attorney Allan Napp of Schrempf, Kelly, Napp & Darr
in Alton. She alleged that on May 13, 2011, she was driving her vehicle
southbound on North Bellwood Road at its intersection with Route 140 in
Bethalto. At the same time, Hausman was driving his vehicle southbound on North
Bellwood Road and allegedly struck the plaintiff’s vehicle from behind.
Represented by John P. Cunningham of Brown & James
in Belleville, Hausman argued that Schilling failed to keep her vehicle under
reasonable and proper control, operated her vehicle in an improper and careless
manner and suddenly without proper cause stopped her vehicle in the middle of
On April 24, a jury entered a verdict in favor of
defendants Dr. Tibor Kopias and Dr. Michael Mandis in Mudge’s courtroom
following a five-day trial (06-L-661).
Plaintiff Fred Simon’s daughter Stacey Luber sued
Kopjas, Mandis, Anderson Hospital and others in 2006 claiming the defendants
failed to timely and properly diagnose and treat Simon for bacterial sepsis.
Simon later died on Aug. 17, 2005. According to the court record, cause of
death was pneumonia.
Luber was represented in the case by Colleen Jones of
St. Louis. She asked the jury to award the plaintiff $2 million.
Represented by Ted Dennis of Belleville, Mandis argued
that 10 years is the average life expectancy for any 76-year-old man without
taking into consideration his medical condition and situation.
Represented by James Neville of Belleville, Kopjas
argued that even the plaintiff’s experts testified that doctors don’t always
order blood cultures, especially when a patient already has a large number of
open wounds and needle punctures. He also argued that because the patient
needed a special hospital room due to his condition and diagnosis, it took time
to arrange a proper treatment facility.
On Oct. 14, a jury entered a verdict in favor of
defendant Daddie-O’s Nite Out in Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth’s courtroom
following the two-day trial (14-L-667).
Plaintiff William D. Odom filed the seven-count
lawsuit on May 5, 2014, against John P. Heitman, Daddie-O’s Nite Out Inc.,
Richard L. Campbell, individually and as liquor licensee, Brian Campbell,
individually and as liquor licensee, and Richard L. Campbell Trust, as property
Represented by Patrick G. King of the King Law Firm in
Alton, Odom argued that the defendants sold alcohol to Heitman on May 12, 2013,
causing him to become intoxicated. Odom claimed he was on the Daddie-O’s pool
team and was on the Wood River premises at the same time as Heitman.
While intoxicated, Odom claimed Heitman began making
sexual remarks and yelled obscenities, profanities and fighting words at the bartender
and other patrons. As a result, the bartender allegedly demanded for Heitman to
leave the establishment, but he refused.
Odom, along with other patrons, “assisted and
attempted with the peaceful removal of John P. Heitman from the inside of
Daddie-O’s at the direction and request of the bartender,” the suit states.
Odom claimed Heitman responded by physically striking
him, causing him to fall and land against a pool table and the floor.
Represented by Stephen J. Moore of Galloway, Johnson,
Tompkins, Burr & Smith in St. Louis, Daddie-O’s and the Campbell defendants
argued that the plaintiff provoked the alleged incident by becoming intoxicated
and acting in a reckless, offensive and careless manner; provoking and
willingly, purposefully and intentionally engaging in and allowing the alleged
incident when it could have been avoided; actively provoked the conduct of
Heitman through verbal threats; engaged in a personal dispute; and voluntarily,
freely and willfully participated in the attempted removal of Heitman.
The defendants argued that Odom’s alleged injuries were
the result of his own fault for failing to take care for his own safety and failing
to act reasonably under the circumstances.
On Nov. 13, a jury entered a verdict in favor of
plaintiff Paul Crane Jr. in Ruth’s courtroom following a five-day trial
The jury awarded the plaintiff $785,000 - $160,000 in
compensatory damages and $625,000 in punitive damages.
Crane was represented in the case by Lee W. Barron of
Crane filed his complaint against Midwest, Bob Evans
Sr., Bob Evans Jr. and Nancy Donovan on March 31, 2014, arguing that during his
employment with the Wood River company, he observed Midwest engaging in
“unauthorized and illegal dumping and/or storage of toxic waste and other
substances hazardous to the health and well-being of the public.” Midwest
Sanitary Service was the only remaining defendant at trial.
Crane alleged he took photos of the violations and
reported them to state regulators.
Then on Nov. 18, 2013, the Environmental Protection
Agency sent Midwest a letter noting the “numerous environmental violations”
engaged in by the defendant.
Crane was terminated that same day. He alleged his
employer knew or suspected he was the individual who reported the violations,
resulting in his termination.
He claimed his employer placed a note in his final
paycheck that read “Think before you speak. Words can get you into trouble much
easier then (sic) they can get you
out of it.”
Midwest’s answers to Crane’s interrogatories were
submitted as exhibits in the trial on Nov. 9. In its answers, the defendant
argued that the plaintiff was terminated because “his attitude became
increasingly inappropriate. He was frustrated and angry and voiced his
frustrations and anger to customers and employees of Midwest Sanitary Service,
Midwest also argued that Crane asked Bob Evans Sr. to
consider laying him off and allow the plaintiff to collect unemployment because
he had another job that he would be paid cash for.
The defendant alleged it had decided to terminate
Crane on Nov. 15, 2013, but the plaintiff failed to show up for work that day.
As a result, it terminated him the following Monday.
Represented by John Gilbert of Sandberg Phoenix &
von Gontard in Edwardsville, Midwest denied knowing who made the complaint with
On Dec. 2, a jury entered a verdict in favor of
plaintiff LaCheryl Lewis in Ruth’s courtroom following a three-day trial
The jury awarded the plaintiff $29,355 - $19,355 for
medical care, treatment and services previously received, $5,000 for pain and
suffering and $5,000 for loss of a normal life.
Represented by Steven Dioneda of Kullmann, Klein &
Dioneda in St. Louis, Lewis filed her complaint on July 14, 2014. She alleged defendant
Courtney Heuerman was driving her vehicle northbound on N. University Road near
the intersection of P2 Road at a turnaround point in July 2014. Lewis alleged
she was driving northbound at the same place when she stopped with her turn
signal on, waiting to turn onto S. University Road. While stopped, the plaintiff
alleged the defendant collided with the rear of her vehicle.
Heuerman answered the complaint on Aug. 6, 2014,
through attorney Michael Murphy of Freeark, Harvey & Mendillo in
Belleville. She argued that the plaintiff’s own negligence was the sole
proximate cause of any alleged injuries.
Also on Dec. 2, a jury entered a verdict in favor of
defendant Tracy Lewis in Barberis’ courtroom following a three-day trial
Represented by Peter Maag of the Maag Law Firm in Wood
River, plaintiff Heather Ragan filed her lawsuit on Aug. 18, 2014. She alleged
that she was driving a vehicle northbound on State Route 159 in Glen Carbon
near a Bank of Edwardsville parking lot on May 21, 2014. At the same time,
Lewis was allegedly waved by a third party to pull out of the bank parking lot.
She proceeded into oncoming traffic and allegedly struck the front right corner
of Ragan’s vehicle.
Lewis answered the complaint on Sept. 19, 2014,
through Knapp, Ohl & Green in Edwardsville. She alleged that Ragan’s
alleged damages were caused by her own negligence.