Madison - St. Clair Record

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Seat manufacturer denies counter claims of driver involved in fatal accident

By Ann Maher | Jul 25, 2016

Magna Seating denies the counter claims of a driver being sued in St. Clair County over the death of Cheryl Schmeder last year.

According to the suit brought by surviving husband Larry Schmeder, the driver's seat back of a 1997 Chrysler Town & Country operated by Schmeder collapsed when it was rear-ended by a 2001 Chevrolet Silverado operated by co-defendant Gary Mathenia.

The wrongful death and negligent manufacturing suit claims that Schmeder's mini van lacked adequate bolts.

Magna Seating, represented by attorneys at HeplerBroom in Edwardsville and Shook Hardy and Bacon in Kansas City, Mo., responded last month to Mathenia's counter claims asserting that alleged damages were caused by a substantial modification to the seats.

"Any product designed, manufactured or sold by Magna Seating conformed in all respects to the state of the at in the industry at the time of manufacture," wrote W. Jason Rankin of HeplerBroom.

Circuit Judge Vincent Lopinot presides.

A May 31 status conference was continued to Aug. 22.

Schmeder seeks a judgment in his favor for more than $75,000 plus attorneys’ fees and costs.

The plaintiff is represented by Thomas Q. Keefe Jr. of Keefe & Keefe in Belleville.

Mathenia is represented by Stephen Mudge of Edwardsville. 

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 15-L-438

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