Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth dismissed a legal malpractice suit alleging an East Alton law firm failed to file a lawsuit following a workplace injury.
Ruth dismissed the case with prejudice on July 25, with each party bearing their own costs.
Prior to dismissal, attorney Jordan Lewis of Fox Galvin LLC in St. Louis filed a motion to withdraw as counsel for defendants Galanti Law Firm and attorney Leslie Collins. The defendants continued to be represented by attorney Richard Korn of Fox Galvin.
Plaintiff Ron Lott filed the complaint on May 18, 2017, against Galanti Law and Collins.
According to his complaint, Lott alleges he was an employee of Industry 1 at the U.S. Steel plant in Granite City. He claims he was working in a hole to clean sludge on May 13, 2014, when an employee of Veolia dropped a 70 lb. piece of steel into the hole. After falling 15 or more feet, the steel allegedly struck Lott in the back of the neck.
Lott hired the defendants to represent him in any actions arising from the incident, including a claim under the Illinois Workers Compensation Act or a potential negligence lawsuit. The third party action Lott could file against Veolia was subject to a two-year statute of limitations, which expired May 13, 2016.
Lott alleges no third party action was ever filed. He claims had it been filed, he would have prevailed
Lott also alleges the defendants failed to inform him that they were not going to represent him in any third party action, depriving him of the chance to find other counsel.
The defendants previously answered the complaint on June 25, 2017, arguing that those responsible for the plaintiff’s alleged injuries were employed by the same employer at the time of the incident.
They also argue that the plaintiff is contributorily at fault and failed to take reasonable steps to mitigate his damages.
Lott replied to the affirmative defenses on July 11, 2017, through attorneys Christopher Cueto and Michael Gras of the Law Office of Christopher Cueto Ltd. in Belleville, denying each and every allegation.
Madison County Circuit Court case number 17-L-676