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Construction company denies liability, files third-party complaint in personal injury suit

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Mar 1, 2016


A construction company denies liability and claims a Cahokia man’s employer is to blame in the personal injury lawsuit alleging the man was injured when a piece of equipment hit him.

Curtis Barnett filed the lawsuit on Dec. 18 against Baxmeyer Construction Inc. and Brian Embrich.

According to the complaint, Barnett was working for Kozeny-Wagner on a construction project at the state Route 3 extension in East St. Louis on April 18, 2015. While on the job, Barnett claims he was struck by a skidloader operated by Baxmeyer and its employee Embrich.

As a result, the plaintiff claims he sustained severe injuries to his back, neck, legs, shoulders, hips and head.

Baxmeyer Construction answered the complaint on Jan. 29 through attorney Stephen Christiansen of the Law Offices of Rouse and Cary in St. Louis.

The defendant asserted nine affirmative defenses, claiming the plaintiff’s own negligence caused any alleged injuries.

Baxmeyer also alleges that Brian Embrich was not an employee or agent of the defendant at the time of the alleged incident, meaning Baxmeyer had “no right to direct or control the manner in which Brian Embrich was performing his work.”

Baxmeyer filed a four-count third-party complaint on Feb. 1 against Kozeny-Wagner, Inc.

Baxmeyer claims that it entered into a subcontract with Kozeny on Dec. 31, 2013, and Barnet was an employee of Kozeny.

Baxmeyer seeks contribution from Kozeny for its alleged “negligent failure to properly train and/or supervise plaintiff.”

Baxmeyer also alleges that Embrich was employed by Kozeny and was performing tasks at their behest, and under their supervision and direction. Therefore, Baxmeyer says it is entitled to indemnification, but Kozeny has allegedly refused to indemnify Baxmeyer.

Associate Judge Randall Kelley scheduled a status conference for March 16 at 8:30 a.m.

Barnett seeks a judgment of more than $50,000, plus court costs and attorney’s fees.

He is represented by attorneys Kenneth L. Halvachs and Ronald J. Abernathy Jr. of Halvachs & Abernathy LLC in Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 15-L-710

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Halvachs & Abernathy, LLC

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