Wood River homeowner alleges township employee failed to disclose prior injuries during lawsuit discovery

Wood River homeowner Joanna Hendricks seeks sanctions against Benjamin Dona of Bethalto, claiming he failed to disclose previous injuries.

Hendricks moved for sanctions on April 17, and Circuit Judge Sarah Smith set a hearing for May 18.

Smith has set trial to start in July.

Dona sued Hendricks in 2018, claiming his right shoulder popped when he lifted her yard waste bag on his job with Wood River township.

He claimed she filled the bag with rocks.

In response to interrogatories about previous injuries or illnesses and doctors who treated him, he answered, “None.”

At a deposition in 2019, Hendricks’s counsel Brandon Copeland of St. Louis County asked Dona about a motorcycle crash three months before the waste bag injury.

Dona said his leg was injured.

His counsel, Greg Tobin of East Alton, listed about $120,000 in medical bills.

Copeland asked if he recalled telling his primary physician he felt pain in his right shoulder and if he recalled reporting a decrease in range of motion.

Dona said, “No.”

Last year, Tobin moved to bar or strike the medical record from the motorcycle accident.

He filed a memorandum on it this January, stating counsel unfairly surprised orthopedic surgeon George Paletta at a deposition.

He claimed counsel hadn’t produced the medical record.

Copeland’s colleague David Bub responded in March that Dona didn’t request the record.

He claimed Tobin objected to a request for Dona to admit a prior shoulder injury.

Smith heard argument on March 23 and took it under advisement.

While she deliberated, Copeland’s colleague Robert Devereux moved for sanctions.

He claimed Hendricks “came into possession of a document stating that plaintiff was involved in a motorcycle accident approximately three months prior to the one giving rise to this case.”

He claimed Dona reported bilateral shoulder pain, impingement, and decreased range of motion.

He claimed Dona blatantly lied in his answers to interrogatories and in his deposition.

He asked Smith to exclude evidence of any injury or medical treatment, “or any sanction the court thinks just.”

This article was first published in Madison Record.

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