Retired judge Mendelsohn seeks expedited trial in personal injury suit due to 'advanced age'

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Feb 21, 2019

Retired Madison County judge Ralph J. Mendelsohn requested an expedited trial in his suit alleging he was injured when he fell on uneven steps at an Alton pub. 

Mendelsohn filed the motion to expedite trial on Jan. 31 through attorney Rodney Caffey of The Caffey Law Firm LLC in Godfrey.

He filed the request due to his “advanced age” of 76 years old. 

Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth had previously set the case for trial on March 18.

Defendants Thayer Morrison, Lisa Morrison and Morrison’s Irish Pub filed a motion for substitution of judge on Dec. 20 through attorney Stephen Christiansen of the Law Offices of Rouse & Cary in St. Louis.

Ruth granted the motion on Feb. 1, and the case was reassigned to circuit judge Sarah Smith on Feb. 5.

Mendelsohn filed his complaint on May 15, alleging he was a patron at Morrison’s Irish Pub in Alton on May 17, 2016, when he fell due to uneven steps.

Mendelsohn alleges the defendants failed to realize the danger posed by the uneven steps, failed to make it safe and failed to warn patrons of the existence of the dangerous condition.

He claims he sustained extensive injuries to his right shoulder, arm and hand, requiring him to expend large sums of money in medical expenses.

Morrison’s Irish Pub denied liability in its answer to the complaint, arguing that Mendelsohn’s own negligence was the sole proximate cause of any alleged injuries.

Mendelsohn served as an associate judge in Madison County from 2000 until 2009. He also was recalled by the Illinois Supreme Court to serve as a fill-in judge for a two-month period in 2015 after five associate judges in Madison County were not reappointed.

Following his retirement, Mendelsohn started his own mediation practice and later joined the Caffey Law Group in Godfrey, a plaintiff’s firm, which represents him in his trip and fall lawsuit.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 18-L-645

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Rouse & Cary The Caffey Law Firm

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