BELLEVILLE - A wife and husband are suing a construction company and its driver after the car they were traveling in struck a trailer that had become detached from the truck driven by one of the defendants.
Emily Muskopf is suing for injuries suffered following the Aug. 5, 2018, collision on Interstate 255. while her husband, Alex Muskopf, seeks damages related to expenses and losing the benefits of their relationship.
The couple filed suit in Oct. 3 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against the driver of the other vehicle, Steven Phalen, and his employer, Phalen Steel Construction Company.
Phalen did not respond to a message from the Record asking for comment, while a representative of the company similarly did not reply.
According to the complaint, the Muskopfs were passengers in the vehicle that was traveling northbound in the far right lane of I-255. Phalen was driving a 2015 Ford truck and pulling a white box trailer, the suit states.
"The vehicle struck a white box trailer, which detached from the vehicle driven by defendant," the complaint states, adding that the truck driver was working for Phalen Steel at the time of the collision. It is not clear from the complaint whether the trailer detached from the truck prior to the collision or after.
Both defendants are accused of negligence for allegedly failing to "properly hook up trailer," and for failing to keep control of the trailer that allegedly struck the plaintiffs' car.
Emily Muskopf, the complaint states, suffered "severe injury, permanent pain, mental anguish, disability and disfigurement."
The lawsuit states she has lost wages and income and has "become liable for large sums of money in property damage, hospital, medical and related expenses." She seeks more than $75,000 in damages and court costs.
Alex Muskopf argues that because of the damages suffered by Emily Muskopf, he has paid out money in medical expenses, and has been "permanently been deprived of the love, companionship, consortium, support, and services" of his wife. He also seeks more than $75,000, plus court costs.
The plaintiffs are represented by attorney Samantha S. Unsell of Keefe, Keefe & Unsell of Belleville.
St. Clair County Circuit Court Case number 2019-L-0698.