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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Lawyer who defends St. Clair County in jail suits faces suit over car crash

By Record News | Jun 27, 2017

Attorney Thomas Ysursa, who defends St. Clair County in jail suits and other civil actions, faces a suit claiming his car rammed the rear of another while a mobile device distracted him. 

Karon Fields sued him in circuit court on June 9, seeking damages for painful, permanent and disabling injuries to her neck and back. 

Her lawyer, Zane Cagle of St. Louis, wrote that she has been unable to work. 

The accident happened in 2015, near the intersection of West Main Street and 17th Street in Belleville. 

Cagle wrote that Fields stopped in traffic, but that Ysursa failed to notice she had stopped. 

He wrote that Ysursa’s speed was high and excessive in the circumstances. 

Ysursa allegedly “operated his motor vehicle while distracted using a cellular telephone or other hand held mobile device,” the lawsuit claims. 

Cagle wrote that Fields’s injuries were due to no negligence on her part. 

State’s attorney Brendan Kelly has retained Ysursa as a special assistant 43 times in five years for jail suits at U.S. district court. 

Ysursa currently defends the county in seven jail actions there. 

He also defends a federal suit claiming county treasurer Charles Suarez led a conspiracy to rig bids at auctions of delinquent taxes. 

Ysursa defended a wrongful termination suit against circuit clerk Kahalah Clay, and reached a settlement with plaintiff Kelli Garner prior to trial in May. 

He currently defends Cahokia and Belleville police in federal suits over arrests. 

He has represented the village of Sauget in contamination cases since 1999. 

He practices at the Becker Hoerner firm in Belleville;  his father, Bernard Ysursa, practices at Bruce Cook’s firm. 

The county’s building commission hired both to sue an airport contractor in 2004, and hired both to sue another contractor in 2008.   

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St. Clair County State's Attorney Twentieth Judicial Circuit of Illinois