Woman injured on slot machine smoke break sues Casino Queen

Kelly Holleran Mar. 31, 2010, 2:00am

A woman has filed suit against an East St. Louis gambling casino, alleging she tripped over an elevated manhole when she attempted to smoke a cigarette.

Ada M. Dawson claims she was visiting Casino Queen in East St. Louis on June 2, 2009, when she exited a side door to take a temporary break from her slot machine playing and to smoke a cigarette.

According to the complaint filed March 13 in St. Clair County Circuit Court, Dawson tripped over a covered manhole located immediately to the right of the sidewalk and close to the side door. Because of her fall, Dawson sustained injuries to her neck, right shoulder, arm, hand and right leg; experienced pain and suffering; and incurred medical costs, the suit states.

She blames Casino Queen for allowing a raised manhole to be present next to the sidewalk, for failing to keep the exit area clear, for failing to erect a barricade to prevent people from tripping over the manhole and for failing to raise the level of ground to the manhole, the complaint says.

Dawson is seeking a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs.

She will be represented by Al J. Pranaitis of Hoagland, FitzGerald, Smith and Pratt in Alton.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-121.

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