Trial Date Set in 4-Year-Old Lawsuit Against Ameren

4 years 5 months 3 weeks ago August 30, 2012 Aug 30, 2012 Thursday, August 30 2012 Thursday, August 30, 2012 1:31:00 AM CDT in News
By: Katherine Biek
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COLUMBIA - A trial date has been set for a wrongful death lawsuit against Ameren Missouri that was filed four years ago. The trial will start on Sept. 11, 2012.

The lawsuit comes after Carl and Merna Sneed's home at 308 McNab Drive exploded on March 14, 2008. Carl Sneed, 87, burned to death inside the home.  Merna Sneed, 85, was thrown about 20 feet from the home and suffered burns on more than 30 percent of her body.  She died three weeks later.

Three of the Sneeds' daughters, Patricia K. Sneed, Pamela R. Heath and Terry L. Sneed, filed a lawsuit in June 2008 against Ameren Missouri.  They allege that the company failed to monitor the build-up of natural gas under their parents' home.

This week, Boone County Circuit Judge Jodi Asel heard 40 evidentiary motions in the lawsuit and ruled on a few of them. One of the motions was on objection from the utility to the jury seeing 16 photos of Merna Sneed before she died in the burn unit at University Hospital. Ameren is saying that the photos could unfairly sway the jury.

Asel took the motion under advisement.

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