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Lawsuits over 2010 deaths at ABB plant go to trial

FBI agents enter the ABB manufacturing complex on January 7, 2010.
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The families of two of the men killed in a mass shooting more than five years ago will get their day in court starting Monday.

Terry Mabry and Cory Wilson were shot and killed January, 7, 2010, by a fellow employee at the ABB Power Plant complex in north-central St. Louis.  Their families sued Securitas, a private company contracted to provide security at the 17-acre complex, for failing to prevent the shooter, Timothy Hendron, from bringing a gun to the plant, especially given Hendron's history with the company. The suit also alleges that Securitas failed to alert ABB employees of the danger they faced once Hendron began firing. 

  The family of a third employee who was killed, Carlton Carter, did not file a lawsuit. Five other employees were also injured.

Hendron, who was 51, had been demoted from a supervisor position about 10 years before the shooting, and was also part of a federal lawsuit against ABB over its pensions. Witnesses told St. Louis Metropolitan Police detectives that Hendron's moods had been erratic since the demotion -- two employees who had known Hendron for several decades told investigators they believed he was capable of committing a mass shooting. The evidence showed that Hendron may have been targeting Cory Wilson, who was his supervisor at the plant.

The five-year court fight included allegations of legal misconduct against an attorney representing Securitas. In addition to the two wrongful death suits, the company faces eight personal injury lawsuits. and Securitas and ABB are also locked in a legal battle over who will have to pay any claims that may result from the lawsuits.

The ABB shooting led to a change in police training. All officers learned how to respond to an active shooter situation, and the department upgraded equipment in patrol cars to include breaching tools and more powerful weapons.

Follow Rachel Lippmann on Twitter: @rlippmann

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.

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