Visitor sues Fairview Heights homeowner after slipping on staircase

Kelly Holleran Aug. 11, 2010, 2:21am

A Washington County woman claims she fractured her ankle after she fell on rag rugs improperly placed on a staircase.

Amy Fernandez filed a lawsuit July 30 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Patricia Gerlitz.

Fernandez claims she visited Gerlitz's residence at 137 Toulon Court in Fairview Heights on Aug. 15, 2008, when the incident occurred.

"As Plaintiff was attempting to descend the stairs, she was caused to fall by rag rugs placed on the stair steps that constituted a dangerous condition at the time and place of her fall," the suit states.

Because of her fall, Fernandez became sick, sore, lame, disordered and disabled and suffered extensive injuries to her hip, legs, ankle and foot, according to the complaint. In addition, she lost wages, suffered disability and loss of a normal life, experienced pain and suffering and incurred medical costs, the complaint says.

Fernandez blames Gerlitz for causing her fall, saying Gerlitz negligently placed rag rugs on her steps in an unsafe position, failed to properly monitor the position of the rag rugs, failed to provide a safe premises for walking and failed to warn Fernandez of the rugs on the stairs.

In her complaint, Fernandez seeks a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs.

Jack S. Parker of Niemann and Parker in Centralia and Richard A. Cary of Wham and Wham in Centralia will be representing her.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-395.

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