Madison - St. Clair Record

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Edwardsville School District seeks to dismiss woman’s personal injury suit

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Feb 2, 2016

Edwardsville Community Unit School District 7 is seeking to dismiss a Missouri woman's suit alleging a loose light fixture fell from the ceiling and hit her.

Heriscene Thompson filed the suit Nov. 23 in Madison County Circuit Court 

According to the complaint, Thompson was at Edwardsville High School inside the auditorium on Dec. 7, 2014. She claims a loose light fixture on the ceiling fell and struck her, resulting in injuries to her head, neck and shoulders.

She seeks damages of more than $50,000, court costs and attorney’s fees.

The school district filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on Jan. 5 through attorneys Donald Ohl and Heather Mueller-Jones of Knapp, Ohl & Green in Edwardsville.

The defendant argues that the complaint fails to adequately state a cause of action because the plaintiff fails to allege how and why she was an intended and permitted user of the property. It further argues that the plaintiff fails to show that a duty of care existed.

Thompson also filed the complaint in November 2015 but incorrectly alleged she was injured in December 2015.

“Plaintiff cannot sustain a cause of action alleging a future occurrence,” the school district's motion states.

Thompson filed an amended complaint on Jan. 19 through attorneys William Holland and Rachel Lawrence of Goldblatt & Singer in Clayton, Mo. She claims her amended complaint remedies all of the alleged defects as stated in the defendant’s motion to dismiss.

In her amended complaint, Thompson included facts alleging how and why she was an intended and permitted user of the school’s property and provided a corrected date of the alleged injury. She claims she was on the property on Dec. 7, 2014, for a concert with Concert Ministries, Inc., which had rented the auditorium from Edwardsville School District.

She also named Concert Ministries, Inc., as a defendant in the suit.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 15-L-1527

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Knapp, Ohl and Green