Madison - St. Clair Record

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Menards says carpenter altered materials that allegedly caused him to fall

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Jan 5, 2016

Menard Inc. denies liability in a carpenter’s personal injury suit, arguing that the man failed to specifically identify the materials at issue and altered the materials that allegedly malfunctioned and caused him to fall.

Victor Betancourt, a local carpenter, filed his lawsuit on Oct. 26 against Michael Pedersen and Menard Inc.

According to the complaint, Betancourt alleges he fell from a structure built at Pedersen’s O’Fallon home with lumber purchased from Menards.

Betancourt alleges Pedersen failed to provide him with a safe working structure. He also alleges the materials sold by Menards were unsafe.

Pedersen answered the complaint on Dec. 2 through attorney Erin Phillips of Unsell Schattnik & Phillips in Wood River, denying the allegations against him.

Menards answered the complaint on Dec. 7 through attorney Byron Bowles Jr. of McAnany Van Cleave & Phillips in Kansas City. It also filed nine affirmative defenses against the plaintiff, arguing that Betancourt failed to state a claim for which relief can be granted.

Menards argues that the plaintiff failed to specifically identify the lumber, hardware or fastening tools allegedly at issue in the case.

The defendant also claims the products at issue were “substantially” altered or modified after leaving the control of Menards.

The plaintiff seeks damages in excess of $50,000, plus punitive damages and costs.

Circuit Judge Vincent Lopinot scheduled a status conference for Jan. 19 at 9 a.m.

Betancourt is represented in the case by Charles Scanlon of St. Louis.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 15-L-605

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McAnany, Van Cleave & Phillips

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