Madison - St. Clair Record

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Woman allegedly misstated facts of trip, fall suit during deposition; Property owner claims she fell during fight while intoxicated

Lawsuits

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Jan 17, 2020

Thomashildebrand
Hildebrand

A woman who is accused of suing after she fell during a fight while intoxicated claims she misstated the facts of the case during her deposition because she was “nervous and upset.”

Plaintiff Monica Haxton filed an affidavit on Jan. 13 claiming she mistakenly said she didn’t know what caused her to fall. She is represented by Thomas Hildebrand of Granite City. 

“That when asked what happened, I was tired and nervous and I blurted out a statement which is completely contrary to the facts of this case,” the affidavit states.


Hobin

“That I knew at the time of my fall, knew when I went to Anderson Hospital, knew at the time of my deposition and always knew that I fell because I stepped in a hole dug by the dog,” it continues.

Defendant Anita Bowman filed a motion for summary judgment on Sept. 24, arguing that Haxton was deposed on Aug. 29 and testified that the fall happened “very quickly” and she has “no clue” what caused her to fall.

“At the time, would I be able to look back – I have no idea,” according to the deposition.

Bowman argues that Haxton stated twice that she didn’t know what caused her to fall and only speculated that the neighbor’s small dog allegedly dug holes in the past.

“A plaintiff who does not know the cause of her fall, and who cannot present any witnesses to give evidence as to the cause, cannot prove her case as a matter of law,” the motion states.

Haxton filed a response to the motion for summary judgment on Jan. 13. She admits that she said she did not know what caused her to fall. However, she argues that she was “nervous and had never before been deposed.”

She argues that she told staff at Anderson Hospital that she fell after “she accidentally stepped into a hole a dog had dug.”

“That the recollection of plaintiff as provided to the emergency room immediately after the accident is of greater probative value than that of a nervous deponent almost three years later,” the response states.

Haxton further argued that during her deposition she was distracted due to recent personal and employment problems. She also allegedly had transportation problems, causing her to be late to the deposition.  

Haxton filed her complaint against Bowman in January 2018, alleging she was injured in October 2016 when she stepped into a concealed hole on the defendant’s Wood River property and fell.

She seeks a judgment against Bowman of more than $50,000, plus costs.

Bowman admits that Haxton was injured on her property in her answer to the complaint. However, she argues that Haxton’s injuries were the result of her own negligence.

Bowman alleges Haxton was intoxicated and involved in a fight with a third party at the time of her fall.

“Without waiving her denials, the plaintiff’s injuries were not a result of the defendant’s negligence, nor as a result of the plaintiff falling in a hole, but rather because the plaintiff was involved in an altercation with another person, with whom she fought and was subsequently pushed down, causing her injuries herein,” Bowman’s answer states.

According to a suggestion of death filed by attorney Michael Hobin of Rynearson Suess Schnurbusch & Champion on Dec. 6, Bowman died on Oct. 31 in Mount Olive.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 18-L-38

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Organizations in this Story

Rynearson, Suess, Schnurbusch & Champion LLCThomas Hildebrand

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