Madison - St. Clair Record

Monday, December 16, 2019

Cook seeks to depose Belleville police chief Clay and assistant chief Eiskant over auto crash suit

State Court

By The Madison County Record | Oct 29, 2019

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Clay

BELLEVILLE – Lawyer Bruce N. Cook, who blames Belleville police for a collision between his car and theirs, plans to depose police chief William Clay about it. 

Cook’s lawyer, Lucy Unger of St. Louis, set the deposition Nov. 15. 

She and Cook also plan to depose lieutenant colonel Matthew Eiskant on that date. 

The collision happened at West Main and 62nd Street on May 19, 2016, as Cook left Fletcher’s Kitchen and Tap in a 2015 Lexus. 

Jeffrey Jensen, one of two officers in the car, sued Cook last year. Jensen claims the accident disabled him. 

His lawyer, James Keefe of Fairview Heights, alleges failure to exercise ordinary care and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle. 

Keefe named Cook’s firm as second defendant, claiming Cook operated his vehicle as the firm’s president, partner, or agent.  

In February, Unger filed a third party complaint for Cook against Belleville and patrol car driver Aaron Hackleman. 

She claims Hackleman drove 72 miles an hour and failed to apply his brake. 

She wrote that he was disciplined for it, and that if Cook were found liable to Jensen, he should be entitled to contribution from Hackleman for the full amount. 

She wrote that the city failed in training Hackleman to operate his vehicle safely, in enforcing safe practices, and in supervising him. 

Jensen consented to the filing of Cook’s complaint. 

Circuit Judge Stephen McGlynn has set a status conference Nov. 25.    

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