Village of Godfrey denies liability in suit alleging two-year-old injured on barrel train ride

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Mar 7, 2019

The Village of Godfrey denies liability in a suit alleging a two-year-old girl fell out of a barrel train ride onto a gravel parking lot and was run over by the train operator at Glazebrook Park.

The defendant answered the complaint on Feb. 28 through attorney Charles Pierce of Pierce Law Firm PC in Belleville.

The Village of Godfrey admits that the barrel had a seatbelt and that the driver made a visual inspection to ensure that it had been fastened before pulling the train away from the starting point. The defendant also admits that Harper Smay was bleeding and had blood on various parts of her body. However, the defendant denies the rest of the allegations.

The defendant argues that the plaintiff’s claim is barred by the Local Governmental Tort Immunity Act


Smay denied the defendant’s affirmative defenses in her reply filed March 4 through attorney Matthew Chapman of Becker Schroader & Chapman PC in Granite City.

Caitlin Smay filed the lawsuit on Jan. 28 on behalf of her daughter Harper Smay.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs were at Glazebrook Park on Oct. 9, 2018 when Harper rode a barrel train ride. The suit states that she was fastened by a seat belt in the third of seven barrels on the train. After the train started, to the mother’s surprise, it traveled outside of her view.

“Based on accounts from other riders, during the ride, Harper began to stand up, as if attempting to get off the train,” the suit states. “The older children sitting behind her started yelling for the operator, who did not stop the train or turn around to check on the riders.”

Harper was allegedly run over.

“The train never stopped for Harper,” the suit states.

Caitlin Smay alleges that when the train returned to the starting point, she asked the operator where her child was. He allegedly responded, “What do you mean?”

Then a woman appeared from the parking lot, which was allegedly busy with heavy traffic, holding Harper.

“The woman found Harper in the gravel parking lot alone and obviously injured,” the suit states.

According to the complaint, Harper was bleeding from deep wounds to her left knee, head, face and hand.

The plaintiffs seek a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs.

They are represented by Matthew R. Chapman of Becker, Schroader & Chapman PC in Granite City.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 19-L-90

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Organizations in this Story

Becker & Schroader Pierce Law Firm, P.C. Village of Godfrey

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