Madison - St. Clair Record

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Ameren denies liability and alleges wrong name in man's electrocution suit

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Mar 8, 2016

Ameren denies liability in a man’s lawsuit alleging he was injured when the backhoe he was operating struck an electrical line.

Donald “Joe” and Jennifer Chick filed the lawsuit on Jan. 15 against Ameren Illinois Company, also known as Ameren Transmission Co. of Illinois, and Premier Utility Services LLC.

According to the complaint, Joe Chick was operating a backhoe to uncover and repair an underground sewer line at 112 Riverwoods Cove in East Alton on Jan. 18, 2014. While using the backhoe, the plaintiff claims he struck an electrical line that was owned, operated and maintained by Ameren.

Premier was employed to locate and mark all underground lines across the entire property, the suit alleges.

The plaintiffs also claim they informed the defendants of their plans to excavate, but the defendants allegedly failed to record the notice and did not mark the property.

As a result, the plaintiff claims he was electrocuted when he came into contact with the live electrical line.

Ameren Illinois answered the complaint on Feb. 26 through attorney Matthew Champlin of HeplerBroom in Edwardsville, denying liability.

The defendant also filed a motion to strike Ameren Transmission Co. of Illinois from caption of complaint. The defendant argues that Ameren Transmission Co. of Illinois and Ameren Illinois Company are two distinct legal entities, meaning one is not also known as the other.

“Ameren Transmission Co. of Illinois did not own, operate, or maintain the electric line at 112 Riverwoods Cove, East Alton, Illinois. Rather, the underground line allegedly involved in this incident is owned, operated and maintained by Ameren Illinois Company,” the motion states.

The plaintiffs seek judgments against both defendants of more than $50,000 for each count, plus court costs.

The Chicks are represented by Mark R. Bahn of St. Louis.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 16-L-61

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