An Alton fitness center seeks to dismiss a wrongful death suit after the plaintiff allegedly failed to schedule an on-site inspection of a hot tub that a customer allegedly used before he died.
Defendant Metro Sports Inc. filed a motion to dismiss for want of prosecution on Nov. 26 through attorneys Christopher Leritz and Kelly Kirkbride of Leritz & Plunkert PC in St. Louis.
The motion states that Metro Sports’ counsel has tried repeatedly to schedule an on-site inspection of the hot tub involved in the alleged incident with the plaintiff’s counsel and expert.
The defendant’s counsel has allegedly called and spoken with or left a message for plaintiff Julie Stamper’s counsel on March 14, 2017, Aug. 18, 2017, Oct. 6, 2017, July 26, 2018, Oct. 2, Oct. 9, Oct. 25, Nov. 2, Nov. 14 and Nov. 15.
Metro Sports’ counsel has also engaged in written communication requesting dates for the on-site inspection on several occasions. The defendant’s last letter warned of a motion to dismiss for want of prosecution.
“Despite the efforts of defendant’s counsel, no date for the necessary on-site inspection has been scheduled,” the motion states.
“Defendants have not been the cause of any delay in the prosecution of this matter. Plaintiff’s failure to prosecute this case has greatly prejudiced defendants’ ability to properly defend this matter,” the motion continues.
Julie Stamper, special administrator of the estate of Louis Stamper, filed the lawsuit on Aug. 22 against Metro Sports Inc. – Twin River Services Ltd.
According to her complaint, the plaintiff claims Louis Stamper was at the defendant’s Alton facility on Nov. 30, 2015, and was using the hot tub/Jacuzzi. The decedent allegedly suffered internal and external injuries that resulted in his death due to excessive water temperature.
Stamper alleges the defendant failed to properly maintain its hot tub/Jacuzzi, failed to have adequate staff on duty and failed to warn patrons of the excessive hot temperature of the water.
In its September 2016 answer to the complaint, Metro Sports argued that the decedent voluntarily remained in the hot tub when he knew or should have known the temperature was too high for safe use.
Stamper is represented in the case by Gregory Tobin of Pratt & Tobin in East Alton.
Madison County Circuit Court case number 16-L-1181