Madison - St. Clair Record

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Curt Smith Sporting Goods seeks to dismiss former football player’s head injury suit

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Dec 20, 2017

General court 08

A sporting goods company seeks to dismiss a former East St. Louis high school football player’s suit alleging he sustained head injuries due to a defective helmet

Curt Smith Sporting Goods filed a motion to dismiss counts V and VI on Nov. 9 through attorneys Michael Hobin and Tori Walls of Reed Armstrong Mudge & Morrissey PC in Edwardsville.

Curt Smith argues that it filed a motion for summary judgment in plaintiff Demond Hunt Jr.’s prior voluntarily dismissed suit, which was also filed in St. Clair County in 2009. The motion for summary judgment was pending before the court with a scheduled hearing date for Oct. 18, 2016. However, Hunt filed a motion to voluntarily dismiss the case without prejudice on Sept. 29, 2016. As a result, Curt Smith’s motion for summary judgment was never called for hearing.

Therefore, the defendant argues that its previous motion for summary judgment should be heard as part of its motion to dismiss.

Citing Rule 219(e), Curt Smith alleges the Supreme Court has held that the rule is “intended to prevent voluntary dismissals from being used as an artifice for evading discovery requirements, in part, by enhancing the monetary burden associated with a dismissal by permitting the award of expenses in addition to costs,” the motion states.

The defendant argues that in order to proceed on a negligence theory, Hunt must provide expert causation testimony. He had until Sept. 1, 2016, to provide the testimony, the motion states.

Regarding the products liability claim, Curt Smith argues that St. Clair County Circuit Judge Vincent Lopinot dismissed the exact same claim from the prior complaint under the distributor statute on May 23, 2016.

Hunt filed his current suit on Oct. 10 against East St. Louis School District 189, East St. Louis Senior High School, Darren Sunkett, Schutt Holdings Inc. and Curt Smith Sporting Goods.

According to the complaint, Hunt was on the East St. Louis Senior High School football team in 2007 and 2008. He claims that during a game on Oct. 3, 2008, he sustained serious and permanent head injuries allegedly caused by a defective helmet.

Hunt alleges the defendants failed to warn against the dangerous conditions of failing to properly maintain equipment.

He seeks a judgment of more than $50,000, plus any other relief the court deems just.

Hunt is represented by Thomas G. Maag of Maag Law Firm LLC in Wood River.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 17-L-586

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Organizations in this Story

Reed, Armstrong Mudge & MorrisseySt. Clair County Circuit CourtMaag Law Firm, LLC